By Michael Ge
Across the nation, various states and local authorities have instituted vaccine mandates for workers to combat the spread of COVID-19. Other governments have taken the opposite approach and have completely banned vaccine mandates. Proponents of the mandates argue that they are done to protect the health and safety of the community while opponents claim that they are oppressive. Needless to say, these new rules have been extremely controversial.
In New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio has instituted a vaccine mandate for city workers, including municipal workers, police officers, and firefighters. The mandate took effect on Monday, November 1, 2021. Approximately 9,000 out of 300,000 total city workers called in sick on Monday; that number represents just 3% of city workers not complying with the mandate. Despite reports of large numbers of police officers threatening to not show up to work, just 34 called in sick.
On the other hand, states such as Georgia, Utah, and Tennessee banned state and local governments from instituting vaccine mandates. However, private employers can still require vaccinations. This is a stark contrast to states like New York, Colorado, and Maine, which have required all individuals to be vaccinated in certain fields of employment.
Despite all of the controversy and debate, the issue of vaccine mandates shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. This topic will certainly rage on well into the new year and beyond.