State governments, private businesses and even part of the federal government are suddenly embracing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for their employees.
Why it matters: Vaccine mandates have been relatively uncommon in the U.S. But with vaccination rates stagnating and the Delta variant driving yet another wave of cases, there’s been a new groundswell of support for such requirements.
Driving the news: Monday was a turning point.
- The VA became the first federal agency to require its employees to be vaccinated.
- More than 50 medical groups called for mandatory vaccinations of all health care workers, WaPo first reported.
- California announced that state employees and health care workers must show proof of vaccination or get tested regularly.
- New York City brought all municipal workers — including teachers and police officers — under a vaccine requirement that had previously only applied to health workers.
- Even the SF Bar Owner Alliance hopped onboard, announcing that the 500 San Francisco bars it represents will require indoor customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
The big picture: Vaccine requirements are also gaining steam internationally.
- France has required health workers to get vaccinated. Members of the public must also have a vaccine or a negative test to enter most indoor venues.
- Although the measure has sparked protests, it’s also encouraged millions of people to get vaccinated, per the NYT.
Yes, but: Many Republican-led states have preemptively prohibited vaccine requirements, at least in some settings.
The bottom line: Vaccine mandates have been unpopular in part because they’ll inevitably create a backlash.
- But the vaccination effort seems to have run out of carrots to incentivize more people to get a shot, and with rates remaining as low as they are in light of a worsening domestic situation, resorting to sticks has clearly become a more attractive option.