Perspectives: Requiring Vaccines For Health Workers; Are Covid Vaccine Mandates In The Military’s Future?
Opinion writers weigh in on these covid and vaccine issues.
Vaccinate All Health Care Workers Now
Covid-19 has killed over 600,000 Americans and sickened many more. It's hard for me to understand why people would refuse a vaccine that could save their lives and those of their family. But as a nurse, what I find even harder to understand is why some health care workers choose not to get vaccinated and put patients at risk as a result. In my view, personal choice must surrender to professional responsibility if someone's choice endangers patients. That is why I support a national mandate requiring the Covid vaccine for all health care workers who work with patients, including nurses, doctors, dietary workers, home health aides and others. (Theresa Brown, 7/26)
Why Isn't The Military Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines?
COVID-19 vaccination has become yet another front in the war by elected officials and media figures to draw the military into politics. Representative Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, has introduced legislation to prohibit vaccinations being made mandatory in the armed forces and has been scaremongering on Twitter about potential dangers that vaccine mandates pose to military readiness. A group of seven Democratic lawmakers led by Representative Jimmy Panetta of California recently wrote to President Joe Biden, urging that his administration make vaccinations mandatory for everyone in the military. (Kori Schake, 7/27)
The Baltimore Sun:
Vaccine Mandates And Personal Liberty Can Coexist
Although the sentiment may seem paradoxical, libertarians should cheer last week’s decision by a federal judge upholding Indiana University’s vaccine mandate for students. The court reached the right result, and the judge’s reasoning provides a forceful reminder that the government’s regulatory power, even in an emergency, is far from unlimited. Like other colleges and universities, Indiana plans to reopen fully this fall, and is requiring that all students provide evidence of vaccination unless they’ve received religious or medical exemptions. Only in this way — so university authorities contend — can the campuses return to their proper functioning. (Stephen L. Carter, 7/26)
The Boston Globe:
Time For Boston To Require City Workers To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Many health and immigrant advocates are worried about the low rate of COVID-19 vaccination among Boston’s school bus drivers. If those drivers are going to be fully inoculated by the time they start transporting schoolchildren in September — and they darn well better be — the city needs a strategy to change that number fast. The strategy should be a mandate. And not just for bus drivers: For workers in some kinds of public-facing city jobs, choosing to create health risks for other people by foregoing vaccines should simply no longer be an option. The shots are safe, effective, and our best hope for stopping a disease that has already killed more than 600,000 Americans. As employers, and as governments, cities have the power to require vaccinations — and now’s the time to use that power. (7/26)
COVID Vaccine Mandates For Private Sector Workers Could End Pandemic
The United States has made COVID-19 vaccines accessible and free. Go to almost any local pharmacy or pop-up site, and you can easily get the shot – and pay nothing. And yet, only about 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated against this deadly virus. The unfortunate consequence is that the highly transmissible delta variant is causing surges in cases, hospitalizations and even deaths throughout the country, particularly in spots with low vaccination rates. (Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Matthew Guido and Amaya Diana, 7/26)
The Washington Post:
The Unvaccinated Are Testing Our Pandemic Luck
It is hard to know how deadly and disruptive the covid-19 surge brought on by the delta variant will ultimately prove to be. But one thing is clear: It is completely unnecessary. The vast majority of those who now get sick have only themselves to blame. If you don’t believe me, listen to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama, where only 39.9 percent of residents 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the lowest vaccination rate of any state in the country. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks,” Ivey said. “It’s the unvaccinated folks who are letting us down.” (Eugene Robinson, 7/26)
Los Angeles Times:
The Right's New Tone On COVID Vaccines
Take a look at a map of the U.S. overlaid with COVID-19 vaccine rates and a clear pattern emerges: The states with the smallest percentage of their eligible population inoculated also skew politically toward the Republican Party. And the lowest of them all? Alabama, where just 34% are fully vaccinated — and not coincidentally, where hospitals are now reporting COVID-19 patients in numbers not seen since vaccines became available. The situation drove Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, to a moment of public exasperation last week. (7/27)
The Washington Post:
What History Tells Us About The Delta Variant — And The Variants That Will Follow
As is obvious to everyone, the delta variant is surging. Given its infectiousness, this is hardly surprising; as covid-19 adapted to humans, variants became successively better at infecting people, and delta is more than three times as contagious as it was spreading last year. And delta is not the last variant we will see. This raises many questions, and the three most important are: Will it become more virulent — causing more serious disease and death? Will the virus escape the protection natural immunity and vaccines now afford? And, if the answer to either of the first two questions is yes, how can we respond? (John M. Barry, 7/26)