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Agree to Disagree COVID Series: Can Employers and Schools Require Vaccines?

Friday, July 2, 2021

As more and more Americans become vaccinated, schools, employers, and health care facilities are facing a tough decision: Will they require students, employees, and care givers to get the jab? Those who say “yes” cite safety concerns – particularly when dealing with vulnerable populations – and call it a necessary step to return to normal. Those who say “no” argue these sorts of mandates violate individual rights, could expose recipients to potential dangers from the vaccines themselves, and set dangerous broader precedents when it comes to government overreach in public health. It is an especially timely question that pits health concerns up against ideals of personal liberty. And it has practical implications as societies emerge from lockdown. Having it out in the public square, Intelligence Squared host John Donvan presides over a spirited debate between Michael J. Anderson, a Wisconsin attorney who has represented employees resisting vaccine mandates, and Lawrence Gostin, a professor of law at Georgetown University, which is enforcing a vaccine mandate.

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