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Should State Governments Mandate That Residents Receive Vaccines?

37.3% yes
62.7% no

Mandatory vaccinations have been a hot-button issue in the United States since well before contemporary times. As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, this topic will surely gain even more traction in the news as Americans debate how governments should best balance personal liberty and public health.

Those who argue that state governments should mandate that residents receive vaccines argue that it is important to do so for the sake of public health. This side contends that vaccines are an essential way of ensuring that diseases can’t easily spread through communities, and that those who don’t receive a vaccine are indirectly posing a threat to the most vulnerable. Additionally, this side argues that state governments have always had the power to pass laws regulating the health and safety of society and that requiring vaccines would fall into this category. Therefore, they argue, there are no constitutional issues with this policy.

Those who argue that state governments should not mandate that residents receive vaccines argue that doing so would pose a threat to personal liberty. They argue that some people have both religious and philosophical objections to vaccines, and to require them would violate their freedom of conscience. Additionally, they contend that new vaccines like the one for COVID-19 were developed extremely fast, and that there is little research on potential long-term health problems with it. Therefore, they argue, it would be tyrannical to require residents have a procedure done that may be harmful.

So, what do you think? Should state governments mandate that residents receive vaccines? Students can answer Yes, they should; No, they should not; or a nuanced answer in-between!

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:      

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner     
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers      
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors      
  • They address counterarguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner      
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly   


For this question, BRI will be giving away two $25 gift cards, one to each person providing the best defense of each side of the debate. Both students will also win BRI swag. Each student winner will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 cash scholarship. Additionally, the referring teachers for both students will each win a $25 gift card and BRI swag.

Be sure to submit your answers in time to be considered for our prizes!

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