To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

By: Beth Chapman

Shakespeare might say, “To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question.” The question is the same for many people, but not for me. I have been vaccinated, my family is, and most of my friends have been vaccinated. I believe it is the right thing to do – for me.

The problem with vaccinations comes when government mandates are given, or companies require their employees to be vaccinated to keep their jobs. That, I am opposed to altogether.

Suggestions? Yes. Mandates? No.

I am glad to see Gov. Kay Ivey and most of our legislators have opposed such government mandates too.

What happened to the rights of personal freedom and personal responsibility? Yes, we oftentimes take them for granted, but they are still ours to take for granted.

However, we must not ignore the fact that Alabama’s death toll for COVID-19 only nine months into this year was higher than it was all last year. Also, we would be remiss not to recognize reports from hospitals which clearly show most of their patients have not been vaccinated.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the state’s leading medical university (and one of the top in the world) two months ago reported it had 175 patients with COVID-19. Of those 175 patients, 153 were not vaccinated. It had 71 ICU patients with COVID-19. Sixty-one of those 71 patients were not vaccinated. There were 47 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, 38 were not vaccinated. To sum it all up, of 175 COVID-19 patients at that time, 22 were vaccinated and 153 were unvaccinated. Those are strong statistics and offer enough information for people to stop and at least consider getting vaccinated.

No, those numbers are not strong enough for the government to mandate vaccinations, but they are strong enough for people to pause and think about the strength of them and the pattern they present. This is not a poll we are talking about; it is human life. So, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. That is the question. Think about it and consider all the facts. Then thank God you live in a state where you can still make that decision for yourself or at least most of us can.

Beth Chapman is Alabama’s former State Auditor and 51st Secretary of State. She now owns and operates Beth Chapman & Associates, LLC. This is her weekly column, “Around the Capitol” published in newspapers and blogs across the state. She can be reached at