US More U.S. states, employers, schools likely to mandate vaccines, says expert
Vaccine mandate lawsuit will be heard in the conservative 6th Circuit after ping-pong ball lottery
Challenges to the Biden administration's vaccine mandate targeting employers with more than 100 employees will be consolidated and heard by the Ohio-based 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals after it was chosen Tuesday by a ping-pong ball lottery. © JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Covid-19 response and the vaccination program at the White House on August 23, 2021 in Washington,DC.
By Carl O'Donnell
(Reuters) - More U.S. states, schools and employers are likely to mandate vaccinations as COVID-19 cases climb but a federal mandate is politically unfeasible, an expert at the Infectious Disease Society of America (ISDA) said on Tuesday.
"I would support employers and schools taking a close look at what they can do to push the envelope on this," said Preeti Malani, a fellow at ISDA, the top U.S. medical association for infectious diseases.
Amid challenges to Biden's vaccine mandate, study shows they work
Half of workers say they're willing to quit their jobs if employers require the vaccine, but few actually are quitting.Some business owners also have expressed fear that mandating the vaccine could intensify existing staffing shortages. Many politicians have shied away from mandates, worrying that the approach would be unpopular. But the key public health question is whether the evidence suggests that a mandate will increase or decrease vaccination. Now, Americans have the evidence coming from the implementation of mandates in companies and the government of New York City.
The highly contagious Delta variant has become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States, representing about 83% of new infections. So far, unvaccinated people represent nearly 97% of severe cases.
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Any vaccination requirements were likely to have "a robust exemption process" for people who have medical reasons to be concerned about getting COVID-19 shots, said Malani, who is also chief health officer at the University of Michigan.
She said some people were waiting for vaccines to secure formal approval by U.S. regulators. The shots authorized so far in the United States have been authorized on an emergency basis.
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This past summer's Covid-19 surge, which burned through large swaths of the country, peaked in early September after reaching about 160,000 cases per day. The subsequent decline in cases was steep, but after two months, infections in the United States are rising again. © Steven Senne/AP FILE - Licensed practical nurse Yokasta Castro, of Warwick, R.I., draws a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a mass vaccination clinic, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass. U.S. regulators have opened up COVID-19 booster shots to all and more adults, Friday, Nov.
Case counts have climbed as U.S. schools prepare for the new academic year, raising questions about how best to prevent outbreaks. Experts say facemasks, social distancing and other measures will be important to prevent the spread in schools.
Tina Tan, a member of IDSA's board of directors, said surveillance testing for COVID-19 would be difficult to implement in K-12 schools, which run from kindergarten age to 18.
"In the K-12 space, I do think that mask mandates ... in the school setting should be enforced, because right now we know that kids under 12 can't be vaccinated and only 30% of children between 12 and 17 have been fully vaccinated," she said.
(Reporting by Carl O'Donnell; Editing by Edmund Blair)
Private companies must require vaccines for workers. It's the only way to get past COVID. .
Biden and the US government are limited by politics and unclear authority. But private vaccine mandates are legal, ethical and, above all, effective.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.