COVID-19 United States

Pres. Biden’s Senses Come Back: Covid-19 Vaccination

Just days ago, Pres. Biden considered offering up to $100 per person, to any unvaccinated individuals choosing to take the Covid-19 vaccine. However, as the nation continues to face higher and higher Delta variant infections, the President seems to have shifted his course, to a more sensible one.

The Biden administration is now considering using federal regulatory powers and withholding federal funds from institutions, long-term-care facilities, cruise ships, and even universities to push more Americans to get vaccinated.

As this area can deal with restrictions on the use of Medicare dollars or other federal funding to require employees to vaccinate, the folks currently advising Biden administration is cautioning careful approach. However, if Biden administration were to implement the plan, this would lead to tremendous efforts in taking a big chunk of the 90 million still unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.

Of course, as the unvaccinated are generally skeptical of the federal government, this could bring in some strong opposition from the Republicans, a group that is already significantly wary of Biden administration’s recent decision to get federal workers and contractors vaccinated or wear masks.

As the Covid-19 vaccine is comprised of two vaccines taken 2 weeks apart, even if all unvaccinated Americans got vaccinated tomorrow, it would take at least another 3-4 weeks before they would be fully protected, meaning the delta variant driven infection rate will continue to rise. For example, the U.S. recently reported more than 100,000 NEW coronavirus cases on Wednesday. By Thursday, the rolling seven-day daily average of new infections was at 95,000 cases; these are pre-vaccine numbers.

Many are happy to see the Biden administration take this approach, including Lawrence Gostin, Director of Georgetown University’s O’Neil Institute for National and Global Health Law, of focusing at first, the highest-risk sectors where there lies ethical and legal obligation to keep workers and clients safe.

In recent studies, it is suggested that to achieve herd immunity, the population might require up to 80 percent vaccinated or recovered to protect from further infections due to the highly transmissible delta variant. At the moment, up to a 1/3 of American residents remain unvaccinated. From a 1/3, 1/4 of them are reporting that they planned to get vaccinated, which is still, just 1/12th of the remaining unvaccinated population.

The federal government can’t mandate vaccines, but it can mandate certain actions be taken to receive federal money.

Biden Administration promised war-like response to the coronavirus pandemic. So far, it had been lacking. Now however, it seems like Biden Administration is finally ready to step up.


Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.
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