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Ethics & Religion
August 11, 2021
Column #2,087
How To Increase Vaccinations
By Mike McManus

While 70% of Americans have been vaccinated with at least one shot to protect them from Covid-19, more than 80 million adults are unvaccinated.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll of 1,888 adults, 10% plan to "wait and
see" and 14% said they will definitely not get vaccinated, and 6% would do so only if required.

There were striking differences by political perspective. Some 86% of Democrats have been vaccinated, but only 61% of independents and 52% of Republicans.

President Joe Biden asserted, "Right now too many people are dying or watching someone they love die and say, 'If I'd just got the vaccine.'" In a somber address from the East Room of the White House, he asserted, "This is an American tragedy. People are dying who don't have to die."

Why are the unvaccinated hesitating? Some 53% said the vaccine is too new, or are worried about side effects; 43% simply don't want to be vaccinated, and 38% don't
trust the government.

Therefore, it is essential that employers require the vaccination of employees.

President Biden has led the way by requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated. That will impact the 4 million people directly employed by a federal agency. However, it could affect many more when federal contractors are included - another 3 million. He also asked the Defense Department to add a Covid-19 shot to the list of required vaccinations by the military.

According to the Pentagon, 1 million troops are fully vaccinated and 237,000 have received one shot. But the military services vary widely in their vaccination rates. The Navy said that 74% of all active duty and reserve sailors with at least one shot. The figure in the Air Force is 65% of active duty and 60% reserve forces are at least partially vaccinated. But the number for the Army - by far the largest service - is closer to 50%.

"It's an American blessing that we have vaccines for each and every American, It's such a shame to squander that blessing," The President forcibly asserted, "This is not about red states and blue states. It's literally about life and death, life and death."

The Administration hopes it will nudge private companies to push their workers harder to get vaccinated. "I think we have reached the tipping point and Biden's announcement will provide a lot of air cover for companies and boards of directors who have difficult decisions facing them," said Jeff Hyman, a Chicago-based business author and recruiter for startup companies.

Delta and United Airlines are requiring new employees to show proof of vaccination. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are requiring workers to disclose their vaccination status, though not requiring them to be vaccinated.

But fewer than 10% of all employers have said they will require all employees to be vaccinated. However, some major companies have taken that step. Facebook vice president Lori Goler stated, "As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our U.S. companies to be vaccinated."

Since June 10, the investment bank Goldman Sachs employees have been required to report their vaccination status to enter the office. Google became their first major tech company to announce a vaccine mandate for employees coming to the office later this fall. Microsoft announced it will require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and guests starting in September.

Only vaccinated employees are allowed in Morgan Stanley's New York offices at this time. Tyson Foods, a major meat and poultry producer, announced it is requiring its U.S. workforce to be vaccinated by October 1, and all other employees by Nov. 1. It is the largest U.S. food company to implement such a mandate. CEO Donnie King tells employees that the company will also provide $200 to frontline team members who get the shot.

United Airlines is requiring all U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated - and provide proof of vaccination. It is the first major airline to do so.

Walgreens, the pharmacy giant, is requiring all U.S. workers to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. Walt Disney is requiring all of its new salaried and non-union hourly employees to get vaccinated within two months.

Sadly, however, most employers have made no such requirements. Many employers are turning away from mandates, and instead 74% are simply urging their employees to get vaccinated.

Alarmingly, many hospitals and nursing homes are failing to require vaccinations of employees.

I believe this gentle approach should be set aside and a mandate should be required.

As President Biden put it, forcibly asserted, "This is not about red states and blue states. It's literally about life and death, life and death."
_________________________

Copyright (c)2021 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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