Delta COVID fallout: Vaccine mandates are becoming the new normal

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Credit: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Credit: Sarah Grillo/Axios

[Recently,] dozens of influential organizations decided it’s time for vaccine mandates.

[July 29,] President Joe Biden announced vaccine rules for 4 million federal workers. “Right now, too many people are dying, or watching someone they love die,” he said. 

Biden’s announcement followed similar statements from a flurry of major tech firms, including Google and Facebook, which have told their tens of thousands of employees around the country that vaccinations will be required for workers returning to the office, and an earlier raft of mandates from universities, state governments and medical centers. 

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Is it ideal to force people into doing the right thing for public health? Not really, says Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist who studies health equity at UC San Francisco. That’s why you first try messaging to overcome skeptics and incentives for those who need a nudge—as public health officials have done for months and will continue to do, she adds. But at this critical stage of the pandemic, the mandates are welcome news.

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