On the fence about getting vaccinated? You might not have a choice

With at least two Coronavirus vaccines available on the near horizon, many Americans may face a new dilemma in the way of a mandated Coronavirus vaccination.

Just as in Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, General Chang asks, "To be or not to be? That is the question which preoccupies our people...", to vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is the question that will occupy the minds of millions of Americans, especially those who feel the process to create and supply the COVID-19 to the population was too hurried or those who feel their personal liberty will be infringed upon if mandated by the government to take it.

Unlike Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam, all countries that have successfully lowered their Coronavirus positivity rates without the need of a pharmaceutical solution, the United States and European nations are banking on vaccinating most of the population in order to attain herd immunity. According to experts, the U.S. will need about 70% of the population vaccinated in order to effectively put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Gallup poll completed between October 19 and November 1, 58% of Americans who responded said they would be vaccinated before Moderna and Pfizer released their preliminary results. The survey suggested that about four in 10 respondents to the most recent survey said they would not.

The Gallup results were nearly identical to The Sentinel's online poll where 38% of the respondents said would not be vaccinated as well. Polls completed by PEW also reflect the same level enthusiasm.

Fortunately for politicians, they will not have to create and vote on legislation that could endanger their political careers. Instead, the government can get the job done by proxy through the workforce.

In most cases, employers can, and most likely will in the months ahead, legally require employees to vaccinated as a condition of employment. Spearheaded by brick-and-mortar business and educational institutions, who desperately want to return to pre-pandemic profitability, an immunized workforce is paramount to make up for losses over the past nine months, to protect employees' and customers' health, reduce the likelihood of transmission on the job and a return to normalcy.

There might be a little wiggle room for those adamant about not getting a shot or two according to Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

"This area holds some possibilities for vaccine objectors," he told the University of Illinois News Bureau. "However, it’s not as simple as saying, “I won’t vaccinate because of my religion.” The burden of proof is on the employee to show how their religious belief is violated."

The conundrum ahead is similar to that of Hamlet, who at the beginning of Act 3 of the Shakespearean play, contemplated death while lamenting over the suffering and unfairness of life.

"To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep;"

Could being unvaccinated be a far more unpleasant choice?