Vaccine Mandated by Department of Veterans Affairs

As delta and lambda variants threaten to return the U.S. to the pre-covid vaccine era of 2020, governments and health groups are requiring vaccines for all of its eligible workers. The Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA), the state of California, New York City, and the Mayo Clinic are some of the first to be rolling out this mandate.

The VA has the highest impact, as it is one of the nation’s largest health systems. It announced Monday that front-line workers would be receiving mandatory coronavirus vaccines; it is also the first federal agency to be implementing this mandate. This move by the VA is supported by many in Congress, including Republican members who are now afraid that the anti-vax and vaccine-hesitant population will reverse the progress made and force businesses to close down once more.

As the new, more infectious variants enter the population, places like California and New York City which saw the highest infection rates last year are mandating vaccines or weekly testing for its employees.

This is the first concerted effort by all interested parties to get as many people vaccinated. VA mandate will apply to more than 100,000 front-line workers, New York City’s mandate will affect 45,000 workers, and California’s mandate will affect more than 2.2 million employees and health workers. Many are concerned about the uptick of delta infections especially among the unvaccinated, as the unvaccinated often end up with more serious illnesses due to the delta variant than the population that has been vaccinated.

The number increase is no joke. California saw 900 serious covid-19 cases in June. That number has gone up to 3,000. Nationwide, the caseload has again increased from 13,000 cases a day in early July to 54,000 cases a day.

Currently, about 60 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated and the data had been showing a decrease in immunizations since mid-April. According to WebMD, at least 25% of healthcare workers are still not vaccinated by end of May. Most private employers hesitate on putting up vaccine mandates for their workers due to fear of lawsuits or staff loss; only 9% of hospitals in the U.S. currently support a mandate for vaccination.

Given that the vaccine is free for everyone, the President has pleaded with everyone to get the vaccine, and the population has even been cajoled, the slow uptake in vaccination among the rest of the population is worrisome.

Please note that the vaccine is safe for most people and that everyone is given the vaccine, not just any singled out race or gender. Let’s prevent the onset of delta infections and the re-closing of all economies by getting vaccinated. If schools have to be shut down again because of high infection rates, it’ll be a daycare nightmare for many parents again as well.

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