Yesterday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, alongside German partner BioNTech, announced their experimental coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective following a large-scale clinical test. This came days after the UK entered a second national lockdown.
While fuelling hopes that life may return to normal soon, an Express.co.uk poll – which ran from 10pm yesterday to 8am today – asked whether the vaccine should be made mandatory across the country.
Out of 2,408 votes, 70 percent (1,645) said the vaccine should not be mandatory.
Just 29 percent (737) said it should, while one percent (26) didn’t know.
One reader said: “There really isn’t enough known about the side effects of this anti-virus.
“Is anyone coming forward to inform the nation about after inoculation how we will feel, will it affect the lungs in all people, will it cause heart attacks etc.
“When we know these answers people could then make a decision.”
While others argued it is “highly illegal” to force a potential life-saving vaccine on people.
A second person commented: “I believe it would be illegal to vaccinate someone against their will and would lead to 1,000s of claims for damages for either real or invented side effects.
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They said: “Make it mandatory and there will be anger, fighting and non-stop protests – it’s getting tiring every single day watching protest after protest!
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him/her to drink.
“As long as those who are prepared to accept the vaccine are safe, let the rest play the lottery of life!”
Many others said they would take the vaccine but only after “all politicians, civil servants, and NHS staff” have it first.
Others said they didn’t have a problem with the prospect.
One said: “It was not and is not illegal to vaccinate against polio, tuberculosis, smallpox etc. etc, so how would it be illegal to vaccinate against Covid-19?
“It wouldn’t be as governments will pass laws to make it so!”
Another said: “If you want to eradicate this virus … Yes, it must be mandatory.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the country will be ready to use the vaccine as soon as it is approved.
He tweeted: “If and when the Pfizer & BioNTech Group vaccine is approved, we will be ready to start using it.
“But the biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at such a critical moment.
“We must continue to work together to protect our NHS and save lives.”
The UK has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world following the outbreak of the pandemic and has the highest number of deaths across Europe.
Yesterday, the death toll in the UK rose by 194 bringing to total to more than 49,000 while those who tested positive increased by more than 20,000.