Talk of vaccine mandates has returned. The focus has shifted away from blanket mandates to specific sectors and industries.
There is a sudden push to mandate vaccines for certain industries and workplaces, with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announcing it will require its employees be vaccinated.
- In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is leaving it up to municipalities whether government employees will be required to be vaccinated.
- California will require all state employees to either “show proof of vaccination or get tested regularly.”
- While not a mandate per se, the NFL is imposing serious restrictions and penalties, including game forfeitures, if outbreaks leading to the cancellation of a regular season game occurs, and creating incentives for players to get vaccinated.
- As talk of vaccine mandates heat up, a new study shows China’s Sinovac vaccine loses a good deal of its effectiveness after 6 months, requiring a booster shot while data on the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines produced “exponentially higher antibody levels” if given after a previous COVID-19 infection.
- Slate reported on a “conservative radio host in Tennessee” who has come down with a COVID-19 infection, leading to hospitalization, and urged listeners to get vaccinated after “months” of skepticism of the vaccine.
- USA Today reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs vaccine mandate coincided with a new report that the number of COVID-19 infections among patients and staff of the department doubled from last month.
- The New York Times framed the news of the VA vaccine mandate as a development over “concern” of the delta variant, and emphasized that the Biden administration has been reluctant to “embrace mandates.”
- The Daily Caller reported on the coverage the death of an anti-vaccine skeptic and member of Christian church Hillsong, saying “several outlets made a point of printing Harmon’s comments about the vaccine.” In their reporting of his death.
- President Biden’s snap at a reporter filled Fox News’ coverage, when the President was in a White House meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister. Biden called NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell “a pint in the neck” when she asked Biden about the VA vaccine mandate.
- RedState characterized California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s remark that unvaccinated Californians are largely to blame for the latest coronavirus surge as demonizing them, while highlighting a stupid analogy comparing unvaccinated Californians to drunk drivers.
Vaccine mandates for federal workers shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Whether that will help federal agencies to work more efficiently, that’s another story. Even with the vaccine widely available for anyone over the age of 18 for a couple of months now, important services like passports and veteran records requests are seeing weeks and months long backlogs.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021