Chapter 18: Vaccines, Masks, and Conceptions of Harm: The Future of Public Health Mandates

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Claire L. Parins




American Bar Association




Reducing the devastating effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on underserved and historically disadvantaged communities is a high priority to achieve health equity and social justice. This resource explains how COVID-19 exacerbated disparities rooted in historical structural inequalities and provides a full picture of how different populations are affected in times of emergency. The book provides guidance for attorneys, policymakers, elected officials, businesses, and citizens so they can work together to address inequities in the aftermath of COVID-19 and during future pandemics.

Leading experts explore how most fundamental rights--which include housing, health care, voting practices, and religion--were challenged by the health emergency. This valuable guide raises awareness of these issues and examines:

  • How the virus heightened threats to immigrants, people with disabilities, and historically disadvantaged students
  • The chronic underfunding of the Native American health system
  • The impact of the virus on Asian Americans
  • The role climate change played in the pandemic
  • How lawyers and governments can work to alleviate a pandemic's worst effects
  • The necessity to increase access to justice in the courts
  • How to minimize the harms to incarcerated people in prison
  • The tax system and how to deliver economic relief during times of shutdown
  • The future of public health mandates and what needs to change to better protect us all

This document is currently not available here.

Link to Publisher Site Link to Publisher Site (BU Community Subscription)