Mandates result in big rise in coronavirus vaccinations
Receiving the coronavirus vaccination. | Jae C. Hong/AP

New York City stepping up to be the first to require entire categories of workers to receive coronavirus vaccinations has resulted in thousands there coming forward to get their shots.

Only 10 days ago, when the mandate went into effect, almost a fifth of the city’s health care workers were vaccinated. Within seven days some 92 percent of those workers are now vaccinated, making the city’s hospitals and health care facilities much safer places to work and to receive care. The city now leads the nation in the percentage of vaccinated health care workers.

All of this is a good sign for President Biden who has issued the same mandate for health care workers all across the country in any kind of facility that receives Medicare funds. If the success rate in those facilities is as good as it was in New York the implications for the entire country are positive.

Instead of the oppressive misery the right wing said would be experienced under vaccine mandates there is the prospect of liberating a nation from the worst pandemic in its history – a cause for celebration when and if it happens.

New York did not see the thousands of resignations the anti-vaccination forces predicted if there were mandatory vaccination edicts. Many of the holdouts said, after they received their shots, that they felt good about having gotten it done.

Shortages of staff have happened but those existed before the pandemic and during the pandemic many of those shortages were caused by infection, burnout, and overwork, things triggered by the huge numbers of sick people coming into the system. As vaccination numbers rise some of these issues are resolved, doctors and nurses at the city’s hospitals are saying.

A number of states will soon join New York with their own mandates so the good results in New York are expected to be seen across the country wherever n happen.

An administrator at Rochester Memorial Hospital in New York State told the New York Times that  “some are really scared when they come for their shot and you have to hold their hand but afterward many are glad they did it and of course some others say they only did it because of the mandate.”

Regardless of motivation over 95 percent of the workers at that hospital were vaccinated as of last Tuesday with the numbers still growing.

Much of the resistance to vaccination flows from misinformation fed to the public by completely unqualified sources on the internet and elsewhere.

A retired nurse who lives on Long Island told Peoples World that she had a neighbor who was resisting vaccination because she heard that the vaccine contained parts of human fetuses.

She said that one of the best things about mandates, however, was the positive effect they have on people who sit on the fence when it comes to deciding whether to get the shot. “This is actually a very big percentage of the unvaccinated,” she said. “They are just not sure so when you have a mandate the decision is made and they get the shot and then are glad that they did.”

“That I can understand,” she said, but “most difficult to understand is skeptics about the vaccine who then have no problem ingesting animal medications that kill fleas to protect themselves against this virus.”

So many misinformed are trying ivermectin that animal hospitals, veterinarians, and farmers are finding it impossible to treat sick animals that need that medication. The animals that need it suffer because misinformed people are grabbing it for themselves.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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