Different Takes: More Kids Need To Be Vaccinated Before School Starts; Steps To Mandating Vaccination
Opinion writers weigh in on covid, mask mandates and vaccines.
The Boston Globe:
For A Safe Return To School, Children Must Be Vaccinated
The United States has a narrow window to prepare for a safe and productive school year. On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15. This added 17 million people to the eligibility pool for vaccination. Combined with 16- and 17-year-olds, who were previously eligible for Pfizer’s vaccine, the 25 million people in this age group are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Yet this age group has among the lowest vaccination rates nationally. (Rebecca Weintraub, Benjy Renton and Georges C. Benjamin, 7/29)
When Should Voluntary Vaccines Become Mandated?
I like to drive fast. But, as we all know, driving fast can be dangerous. So rules of the road are in place to protect all of us. All of us pay taxes, because it's mandatory to pay for the military, public safety, safety net programs, infrastructure, etc. But if taxes were voluntary, very few would pay. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. (Chris Van Gorder, 7/29)
The Washington Post:
The CDC’s Mask Guidance Needs To Make Clear: The Problem Is The Unvaccinated
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first came out with its misguided policy to lift masking requirements in May, I have been calling on it to reverse course. On Tuesday, it did, but the new guidance remains just as confusing and the communication just as muddled. (Leana S. Wen, 7/29)
Covid Vaccine Mandate For Federal Employees And Office Workers Is What The Doctor Ordered
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that governments and major workplaces like Google and Facebook had started to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations. President Joe Biden announced Thursday that all federal workers will be required to get them or face regular testing, following in the footsteps of employee mandates imposed by New York City, where I live, and California. Both were coronavirus epicenters in which tens of thousands were killed. Among them was my uncle, who shared my name and died of the virus in January, mere days before he qualified for a lifesaving vaccine as a senior. (Michael T. Luongo, 7/29)
The Baltimore Sun:
Why Are So Many Republicans Refusing Vaccination? Because Russia Is Telling Them To
What is the difference between doubt and distrust? Doubt can be overcome by evidence. Distrust cannot. According to a recent Washington Post poll, refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine has now become completely politicized in the USA. Among Democrats, 93% report that they’ve already gotten at least one shot or are likely to, compared with only 49% of Republicans. (McIntyre, 7/30)
Los Angeles Times:
The Unvaccinated Must Be Held Accountable
The Delta variant is spreading rapidly in California and nationwide, but happily so are crackdowns by public and private employers aimed at limiting the ability of their unvaccinated workers to infect others with COVID-19. On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new rules requiring vaccination or regular testing and masking for the 246,000 state government employees; the rules will apply as well to workers at both private and public healthcare and long-term care facilities. Similar workforce rules have popped up around the nation, including in the city of Los Angeles. (7/29)
The Washington Post:
Unions Shouldn’t Stand In The Way Of Vaccine Mandates
Unions have enjoyed a substantial rise in public support in recent years — but especially last year, when many at-risk workers most needed allies. As workers faced severe illness and financial devastation, organized labor notched its highest approval ratings in nearly two decades. But now some unions seem keen on frittering away that goodwill by opposing coronavirus vaccination mandates. In so doing, they’re jeopardizing public health, the safety of their members and, ultimately, their own political influence. (Catherine Rampell, 7/29)
The New York Times:
Do Mask Mandates Work?
Despite hopes of a summer free from Covid-19 worry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in certain areas. While masks are important for protecting against infections, the United States must proceed carefully. Health officials spent months assuring vaccinated Americans that they didn’t need to mask up against Covid-19 because they were protected from illness and were unlikely to spread infections to others. A return to masking for everyone could be interpreted as moving the goal posts or as a signal that experts are no longer as confident as they were in the vaccines — especially if new masking rules are not tied to specific metrics like vaccinations or if masking rules are in effect in places where hospitals are not dealing with crisis-level admissions. (Dr. Jennifer B. Nuzzo and Beth Blauer, 7/29)