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Are Vaccine Mandates Effective?

By Tyler Williams

A protest in Lower Manhattan this week against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations.

(Source: Dave Sanders for The New York Times)

It's almost the two-year anniversary of the emergence of the novel coronavirus of 2019. COVID-19 has plagued not only people’s livelihoods, but life itself. Currently, there are approximately 47 million cases and about 761,000 deaths are reported in the United States, according to the New York Times.

As a nation, the United States has fought through the debate of the mask mandates from last year. Now, the USA is divided between the employer vaccine mandates that are implemented in certain states. The question is, are the vaccine mandates effective against COVID-19? If so, should they be statewide, or even, nationwide to reduce the possibility of new cases?

Keep in mind, vaccine mandates are nothing new. According to Mother Jones, “proof of having been vaccinated against measles, tetanus, and yellow fever, to name a few, are required for travel, certain jobs, and admission to public schools and universities.” There have been plenty of companies and organizations who have opted to require their employees to get vaccinated in order to work.

“United Airlines was one of the first big companies to adopt a mandate, and it announced this week that 98.5 percent of employees have been vaccinated. Just 593 out of 67,000 employees face being fired for refusing the vaccine”, the Washington Post states.


Moreover, a few hospitals have complied with the vaccine mandate, St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx went from 20 percent unvaccinated as recently as last week to just 3 percent; Bassett Healthcare Network in central New York said 97 percent of employees are vaccinated; Rome Health in Upstate New York said 98.2 percent are vaccinated after a late surge, Washington Post reports.

When it comes to the states who are enforcing the vaccine mandates, there are 25 states that require vaccination for employees of various categories. Of those, 21 states specify requirements for healthcare workers, and the majority of those states require vaccination or regular testing of unvaccinated employees, LeadingAge reports. Mainly, there are other states that ban the vaccine mandates or only require the health care workers to vaccinate themselves. As for the efficacy of the vaccine mandates, information is still developing. However, it is possible there's a high chance that they might work. According to the Pew Research Center, it shows that vaccine mandates are nothing new when it comes to the previous diseases and illnesses.

(Source: Pew Research Center)

Of the 16 immunizations the CDC recommends for children and teens, all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) mandate diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, rubella and chickenpox; says the Pew Research Center. Even though the news is still developing about the efficacy of the vaccine mandates, we can at least count on the fact that the previous diseases from before have been treated or reduced due to the mandates for schools, universities, jobs, and medical centers. Let’s hope that COVID-19 will be another addition on the list above. Stay safe and be informed.

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