Vaccines help prevent many infectious diseases. Some of the most effective methods have achieved historic results for mankind: smallpox This is the only human infectious disease that has been completely eradicated through vaccination. polio It has prevented millions of people from being paralyzed and is a disease in the eradication stage.
Vaccination is an act Self-protection And Unity At the same time: the vaccinated people will develop self-defense ability against diseases, and also help to generate group immunity. When group immunity is achieved, it can protect the entire community from new infections. Fortunately, to achieve group immunization, although it is necessary for most people to immunize the entire society.
In Spain, although vaccines are not compulsory, it is generally recognized that vaccines are beneficial to the people who receive the vaccines and the society as a whole
It is true that people who are vaccinated are at risk of certain adverse reactions to protect themselves from a certain disease. It is not clear whether they will suffer if they are not vaccinated, but if they suffer from this disease , Then it might get worse for them or their relatives. However, as far as the vaccine against covid-19 is concerned, the benefits of vaccination to people and society far outweigh the risks it brings.
It’s not just a personal issue
Out of respect for people, vaccination is best decided by individuals. However, under conditions such as the current pandemic, vaccination is not only a personal matter, because it will play a decisive role in controlling the pandemic, and improve people’s health on the surface, and promote public health. Which societies and the individuals that make up it will benefit from it.
Although it is best to vaccinate voluntarily, our legal system is protected by rules and regulations so that compulsory vaccination can be implemented
In Spain, although it is not a compulsory vaccine, it is generally recognized that the vaccine is beneficial to the people who get the vaccine and the society as a whole. According to the latest survey, the willingness to vaccinate has doubled since the first moment of vaccination, and today’s acceptance rate has exceeded 80%.
Although it is best to vaccinate voluntarily, our legal system is protected by rules and regulations so that compulsory vaccination can be implemented, For public health reasons (if necessary).
Legislation provides for the possibility of establishing compulsory treatment, and there are exceptions to informed consent in situations where public health is at risk-the right to refuse treatment is restricted..
Clear and simple information
of Health authority It depends on people having a clear and simple understanding of vaccination against covid-19, understanding its huge advantages over rare risks, and jointly assessing the benefits it brings.
The more information the public has, and the easier it is, the more confidence the public has in the health system and its guidelines and recommendations.
The authorities have the greatest responsibility transparency And Accountability In the process of vaccine creation and distribution, it includes vaccine acquisition standards and existing conflicts of interest. The more information the public has, and the easier it is, the more confidence the public has in the health system and its guidelines and recommendations.
In our context, the development of medicines and vaccines mainly comes from taxpayers’ public funds, and taxpayers have the right to enjoy these benefits. This translates into a process of obtaining knowledge from vaccines and process research, during which healthy volunteers You can also participate in an altruistic and supportive way.
Go forward together
The health authorities and the media should cooperate to provide and communicate the necessary arguments for: Free and informed decision And with the participation of society, progress can be made in the management of epidemics.
We hope that most citizens living in Spain have voluntarily vaccinated against covid-19, so that respect for people can be harmonized with the realization of common interests without having to resort to the obligation to maintain people’s health.
Fernando Garcia Lopez He is an epidemiologist in the field of neurodegeneration, aging and mental health at the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III Institute of Health. He is also a member of the Bioethics and Law Observatory of the University of Barcelona and a professor of the Master of Bioethics and Law.
Itziar de Lecuona She is a Doctor of Laws and a Masters in Bioethics and Laws from the University of Barcelona. She also serves as an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Bioethics and Law Observatory-UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona.