Should the gov't be able to enforce public health, a coronavirus vaccine?

Over time people stopped fearing disease and became scared of government involvement in public health instead.

PEOPLE ON Jaffa Street in Jerusalem wear masks on Sunday. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
PEOPLE ON Jaffa Street in Jerusalem wear masks on Sunday.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
 I’ve never been an advocate for government intervention, but the hysteria over masks and public health regulations that’s being fueled by social media misinformation is making an even stronger case for why public health and the requirements we have as a society – be it measles vaccines or masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, are justified. 
For months, the Israeli Biological Institute has been working on a coronavirus vaccine. Russia has reportedly created a vaccine that’s over 90% effective, and Pfizer, in the United States, also has an effective vaccine near ready for market. In preparation for a vaccine, Israel has already secured a deal with Pfizer to provide vaccines for up to 4 million citizens at a cost of roughly NIS 800 million. At the same time, there is further government discussion of new measures to curb infection rates. From night closures to delaying school to red zones and even a discussion of another lockdown, Israel is still very much in the heat of COVID-19 wave two... or three.
All these developments prompt the question, when we have a vaccine, should citizens be required to take it? And for an even more broad question, should the government require citizens to receive basic vaccinations for other public health diseases which there is an established and proven vaccine? When the vaccines are medically proven through multiple human trials studying the impact and effectiveness, and with the exception of a medical condition that prevents vaccination due to a pre-existing condition, the answer is yes, and here’s why.
Throughout human history, we have been in a battle against disease. Not only did the discovery of antibiotics and vaccines literally change the course of humanity, but so too did the development of the role of public sanitation. Part of the role of a city (or state) is to ensure proper disposal of waste, a role which developed largely in response to the prevalence of contagious disease. The fact that many pathogens have largely been eradicated today is in fact the byproduct of effective public health policies (note not healthcare) combined with advancements in modern science. 
It is only natural then that given a new airborne pandemic like COVID-19, our cities and states must adapt to prevent the spread, and later, mandate (to some extent) a vaccine when science catches up. As late as the mid 20th century, simple infections or a contagious disease could kill or maim permanently. Only in 1955, for example, did Jonah Salk discover the vaccine for polio, which essentially wiped out the disease in the United States. As vaccines for contagious diseases were discovered, their impact on the public was felt most significantly when the governments implemented rigorous laws to enforce both public sanitation regulations as well as vaccinations, such as England’s mandate for smallpox vaccination in 1853. The public complied, because they saw the consequences.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, a smallpox outbreak in 1902 prompted the government to require vaccinations again. When one citizen refused, citing his freedom to make his own health decisions, the US Supreme Court actually ruled against him, stating that cities maintain the “power of a local community to protect itself against an epidemic threatening the safety of all.” Since then, many states have vaccination requirements, including for children attending school. While government mandates are almost never a good thing, the fact remains that we have government mandates to thank for the near-complete eradication of many deadly infectious diseases.
SADLY, OVER time, both because of government involvement in public health and the plummeting numbers of those affected by infectious disease, people stopped fearing disease and became scared of government involvement in public health instead. We underestimate the risk of contagious disease because we haven’t experienced the horrors of a plague, and we have a false sense of invincibility that the diseases somehow won’t affect us because the major epidemics of the day until COVID-19 impacted only certain regions, classes, or individuals of certain lifestyles. Simply put, we are complacent to the dangers of infectious disease and so instead of defending the logical, we are quick to defend all manner of purported “rights” to all sorts of objectively unhealthy, even infectious, behavior – from prostitution to drug use to denying our own children vaccinations on religious or philosophical grounds.
While government regulation is a problem in the continued development of vaccines, the fact remains that the public is not taking public health norms seriously enough to curb the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. While coronavirus isn’t lethal in most cases, we have no certainty whatsoever that the next pandemic (or virus mutation) won’t be even worse. 
Pandemics and contagious diseases don’t care about your individual freedoms, or religion, or politics. Germs and viruses don’t care about whether or not you keep Shabbat or how you dress or what kind of a person you are. They don’t care if you keep kosher, and they don’t care how famous you are or how much money you make. One of the realities of living in a society with other people is that we have a biological impact on those around us. Our society would do well to remember this and set aside our squabbles for the sake of the same biological challenges we all face today. When the COVID-19 vaccine is finalized, take it. 
The writer is the CEO of Social Lite Creative LLC.