Individuals’ rights vs good of the many

National immunisation programme for teens: A nurse tending to a student at a secondary school in Putrajaya on Sept 20. — The Star

IT IS encouraging to read of many teenagers trying their luck at getting a Covid-19 vaccine without a prior appointment at vaccination centres; being eager to get immunised against this infectious disease so they can resume in-school classes safely (Be patient, your turn will come, Sunday Star Says, Sept 26). This is in stark contrast to some teachers, staff and students who remain stubbornly vaccine-hesitant or wary.

It is a medical fact that vaccination prevents the spread of Covid and masks help the protection along. Yet, some minority vaccine-hesitant folks will stubbornly continue to argue about their rights to choose what they will do. But, what about the rights of the vast, responsible, majority in our society who sensibly choose to do the right thing to get vaccinated. It is not enough or sensible to rely on strong personal, religious or political beliefs to avoid vaccination.

Historically, when the rights of the individual affected the good of the many, the good of the many would win out. Seat belts, child car seats, speed limits, no smoking in public places are examples of the good of the many superseding the rights of the individual. Vaccine-hesitant or anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers jeopardise not only their lives but also those of others they may come into contact with.

So, please, let us all (barring valid medical reasons) get vaccinated promptly, so that the lockdowns and restrictions may finally ease or end. This will enable us to get back to much-needed semblance of normality. For children, home learning just doesn’t make the grade as they have long missed out the important need for socialisation with their classmates and face-to-face classroom learning positives.



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