September 17, 2021

California to be first state requiring vaccinations for healthcare workers

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration (D) on Friday issued an executive order requiring all healthcare and long-term care workers within his state to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30, the first such order issued in which exceptions for those willing to undergo regular testing are not included, as the Associated Press reports.

The mandate was issued by Dr. Tomas Aragon, the top public health officer in the state, and it covers all workers rendering services in the majority of heath care environments, such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing facilities, hospice centers, and more, as the Daily Caller noted.

In a statement issued announcing the mandate, Aragon said, “As we continue to see an increase in cases and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, it’s important that we protect the vulnerable patients in these settings. Today’s action will also ensure that health care workers themselves are protected. Vaccines are how we end this pandemic.”

Just last month, Newsom indicated that health care workers could choose between receiving the COVID-19 vaccines or submitting to testing each week. Now, that choice has been eliminated, though California will maintain exceptions for those with religious beliefs or medical reasons that preclude vaccination, according to the AP.

While California has not broken new ground in mandating vaccines for health care workers – Oregon and Maryland have done the same – the newly-enacted executive order is the first such dictate that does not permit routine testing as a substitute for the jabs.

Federal infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides full approval to the coronavirus vaccines in the near future, something which he expects, Americans are likely to see a wave of similar mandates in the education and private industry sectors alike, as CNBC noted.

Fauci said last week, “I hope – I don’t predict – I hope that [full approval] will be within the next few weeks. I hope it’s within the month of August. If that’s the case, you’re going to see the empowerment of local enterprises, giving mandates that could be colleges, universities, places of business, a whole variety and I strongly support that.”

Though the Biden administration has indicated that it has no plans to impose vaccine mandates beyond the federal workforce under its purview, it is has not hesitated to express support for the concept at state and local levels, and a number of high-profile companies have suggested in recent weeks that such requirements are in the offing, including Disney, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and more, CNBC added.

Given that a recent POLITICO-Harvard poll revealed an almost even split among Americans when it comes to the propriety of vaccine mandates, it seems almost certain that any further proliferation of edicts forcing citizens to assent to a medical intervention of any kind will breed serious, politically-fraught pushback for those who try to impose them.

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