A tidal wave of vaccine mandates


EP14: What Motivates You? The Carrot or the Stick? | Live and Lead for  Impact Podcast with Kirsten E Ross

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.

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