The military would love to have every member inoculated against the pandemic virus. However, it cannot make it mandatory because the FDA does not approve the vaccines. They are distributed to the public under an Emergency Use Authorization.
Why do those outside the military think that they can make vaccines mandatory? Hubris? Ego? Safety?
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/hospitals-and-colleges-are-now-requiring-covid-19-vaccinations-heres-why. The Houston Methodist Hospital system is the first major health care organization to require a COVID-19 vaccine. This mandate affects over 26,000 people and is effective June 7th.
There are medical and religious exemptions granted. Healthcare workers live in an environment of therapeutic wellbeing that occasionally results in death. The devastation and tsunami of coronavirus on hospitals would make people think that 100% of all healthcare workers would want to be vaccinated. Why are some refusing?
https://www.kff.org/report-section/kff-washington-post-frontline-health-care-workers-survey-vaccine-intentions/. Nearly nine out of ten healthcare workers at the Houston Methodist Hospital system have received vaccinations against COVID-19. The Kaiser Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Washington Post, did a survey and found that almost half of the frontline healthcare professionals were not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Why? Most cite vaccine safety and side effects. Is it vaccine safety and side effects, or is it something deeper? I believe part of the issue is trust. Information abounds everywhere, biased or not. For example, anyone dying with the SARS-CoV-2 virus was classified as a COVID-19 death, regardless of the real cause of death – car accident, cancer, stroke, etc.
Over 2,000 people have died right after receiving the coronavirus vaccine, and none of those deaths are blamed on the vaccine. The federal government claims that the vaccines are 100% safe. Yet, we know that no vaccine is 100% safe.
Trust in information is only part of the problem. Employers may have been slow to provide the necessary personal protective equipment, especially in long-term care facilities where most healthcare professionals died from the virus. Shortages of workers, long hours, lack of overtime pay, or hazardous duty pay, and more probably contributed to the trust issues with employers.
Why should employees get a vaccine when the employers have not been honest and forthright with them. Turnover rates are high, and training is questionable in a few facilities. Some employees feel they are being exploited rather than appreciated. Trust is a two-way street, and healthcare workers do not trust their employers or the vaccine manufacturers.
Hospital systems may face a higher crisis when threats to firing come to fruition, and they cannot find replacements. Hospitals understaffed might be in extremis. I understand why hospitals have a problem if they are forced to fire people for not getting a vaccine.
Additionally, most healthcare workers are not the younger generation – college-age, and a bit more impervious to the ravages of coronavirus.
https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/can-colleges-make-covid-19-vaccine-mandatory/. Several dozen colleges have mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for faculty, students, and staff. Many have a deadline of June 1st. The situation with universities is a bit different than hospital systems.
Hospitals cannot operate in a virtual world to treat patients. Human contact and diagnosis require in-person contact. Students, however, can be taught via video conferencing. That option allows students and faculty not wanting the vaccine to continue as they have for the past year.
The federal government has not clarified the official interpretation of Emergency Use Authorization and mandating a non-approved vaccine for the public. Some legal authorities claim that emergency use is not tacit approval and, therefore, something that cannot be required.
There are other legal experts with a different view. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education have permitted schools to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all. A few states have enacted laws blocking any school systems from requiring coronavirus vaccines. It is a sticky wicket regardless of what happens. Students may be barred from campus when they do not accommodate a college demand for proof of vaccination.
Personal declination forms are available in many schools, along with religious waivers. Some college students were not old enough until very recently to get the vaccine. Many students under the age of 18 do not see an apparent reason to get a vaccine that is 99.9% survivable for people in their age group.
The legal issue is a big one. Suits and counter lawsuits will likely decide the vaccine mandate, but not in the next few months. Preventing a person from getting a vaccination is one thing, and I do not believe that presents a problem now that almost all ages are eligible.
The counter-argument of demanding proof of COVID-19 vaccination before work or going to school can be costly if implemented immediately – in terms of monetary settlements down the road and critical shortages of skilled healthcare people. This link shows legal action already in the court system. https://secureservercdn.net/18.104.22.168/k7i.767.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/LAUSD-Complaint-Conformed.pdf.
Another legal filing does not involve hospitals or schools, but an employer https://www.skepticalraptor.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Legareta-v-Macia-EUA-mandate-lawsuit.pdf
Hubris, ego, or safety are all part of the problem. A virus that kills less than one percent of people is controlling the quality of life for millions. Was there an overreaction a year ago to this pandemic? How long will the fear of one percent of less death rate continue to hijack our society?
We are rapidly approaching the time where half of all Americans will be fully vaccinated. There will always be some with trust, safety, religion, or other reasons to refuse being vaccinated. Can they live in a society with a vaccinated population? Absolutely.
Protect the most vulnerable and let the chips fall where they may! Maybe that approach is too simplistic and ignores safety. But does it?
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughin.com