The Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on vaccinated Americans and people around the world who were just starting to get used to going wherever they wanted without a mask.
Representatives from almost 60 medical groups — such as the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association — said Monday (July 26) they want to see mandatory vaccination policies for all healthcare workers, calling it an ethical obligation as the number of cases begins to surge again.
“Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our healthcare organizations and societies advocate that all healthcare and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” the joint statement said. “This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all healthcare workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, became the first federal agency to require its employees be vaccinated, demanding 115,000 frontline healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the next two months, government officials said Monday.
“I am doing this because it’s the best way to keep our veterans safe, full stop,” said Denis McDonough, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, in an interview with The New York Times.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded his city’s vaccine mandate to include all city workers, who must show proof of vaccination or take weekly tests for the virus beginning in the fall. Unvaccinated NYC workers must wear masks at work beginning Aug. 2.
“This is about our recovery,” de Blasio said. “This is about keeping people safe, making sure our families get through COVID OK. September is the pivot point of the recovery. September is when many employers are bringing back a lot of their employees. It’s when schools start full-strength, it’s when people come back from summer.”
Last week, de Blasio announced a policy that requires workers in city-run hospitals and health clinics to get vaccinated or tested every week.
Meanwhile, California will make state employees and healthcare workers show proof they are vaccinated or they will face weekly tests. California has a minimum of 246,000 state employees and a minimum of 2 million healthcare workers, according to an Associated Press report.
“An individual’s choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom in announcing the new policy.
It’s not just Olympians who are facing major consequences when it comes to COVID-19 testing among athletes. Unvaccinated National Football League (NFL) players will be fined almost $15,000 every time they violate the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Meanwhile, the French parliament has ratified a new law mandating that all health workers get inoculated and has also required special COVID-19 passes for all people who want to dine in a restaurant or travel by train or plane.