The New York State Bar Association is urging the state to adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations once they become available – if ‘voluntary measures fail to protect public health’ – and has recommended following ‘current New York law‘ – including exemptions for “religious, philosophical or personal reasons,” according to the New York Law Journal.
“The authority of the state to respond to a public health crisis is well-established in constitutional law,” said Mary Beth Morrisey NY Bar association Health Law Section Task Force chair, in a Saturday statement.
“In balancing the protection of the public’s health and civil liberties, the Public Health Law recognizes that a person’s health can and does affect others,” she continued. “It may become necessary to require that certain individuals or communities be vaccinated, such as healthcare workers and students, to protect the public’s health.”
According to the Bar Association’s recommendation, “To protect the public’s health, it would be useful to provide guidance, consistent with existing law or a state emergency health powers act as proposed in Resolution #1, to assist state officials and state and local public health authorities should it be necessary for the state to consider the possibility of enacting a vaccine mandate.”
They also recognize that the public needs to believe that the vaccine is safe and that it works.
“A vaccine must not only be safe and efficacious; it must be publicly perceived as safe and efficacious.”