Several world leaders are issuing threats of covid-19 vaccine enforcement on their citizens. The development is prompted by the recent global spike of the Indian Delta variant. The tip of the variant in the past three months reportedly caused millions of deaths. The staggering deaths, no doubt, psychologically rolled back the gains already achieved in containing the scourge.
COntroversial Enforcement In The U.S
In an attempt to bring the recent wave of the Covid – 19 Delta variant infections in the US under control, the Biden Administration has given all “Federal employees 75 days to get vaccinated or face getting fired”. About 81 million Americans remain unvaccinated as of late August 2021, and Federal workers number about 2.1 million. There is, however, room for exemption for a few who may have genuine reasons not to get vaccinated.
Some Workers’ Unions have kicked against the mandate while others are asking for a chance to bargain. The order will, for now, most likely be restricted to the Executive branch and not the Judicial or Legislative. Presidential spokesperson Jen Psaki emphasized that “the Federal workforce is one of the largest in the country and we would like to use it as a model to what other businesses, organizations should do”.
The mandate has come under attack from several congressional leaders, primarily Republicans. One notable Congressman raised strong objection for his district, stressing that “our government was founded to secure the individual liberties of all. We should instead continue educating the public that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective”. In addition, some states with Republican governors say they will not accept mandates from the central government.
The US military is reportedly 70 per cent vaccinated but has nonetheless issued its vaccine mandate. Some military servicemen have rejected the order, instead choosing to resign and forfeit their pension. For example, Lt – Col Paul D Hague, a father of seven, reportedly handed out his resignation letter after nineteen years of service describing Biden’s mandate as “unethical, immoral and tyrannical”. Hundreds of US Navy Seals members, America’s number one elite force, have also rejected the order. This has been described as a national security risk considering the vital assignments deployed to undertake.
France Passes A Bill
THE French Government in July passed a bill that would make Covid – 19 vaccinations mandatory for health workers. The same account will also require a health pass restricting people from entering a wide array of venues without access. The bill will require individuals to carry a pass to enter restaurants and long-distance journeys in trains and planes.
As happened in Greece with the same mandate, there have also been protests from health workers in France. They cite religious grounds and infringement on personal liberties. But the government in both countries have remained adamant.
The government in France insists that the mandate has become necessary as new cases of the Delta variant increased from an average of 4,000 new cases a day to 22,000. Moreover, hospitalizations seem to be on the rise since July 2021. Even though 50 per cent of French citizens have received about two doses of the vaccine as of early August.
Government health officials insist that that level cannot give the required “herd immunity”. Herd immunity is the level at which infection can no longer spread to create a panicking situation or “epidemic resurgence”. The target is to achieve 90 per cent vaccination among adults. Only then would it be convenient to ease restrictions. President Emmanuel Macron has also announced mandatory vaccination for all military personnel.
Mandatory For Workers In Care Homes In England.
With effect from November 11, 2021, new legislation on Covid -19 would become mandatory. The restrictions will not be compulsory for the general public. It is restricted to only workers in care homes. They must be Covid – 19 vaccinated.
The UK government has insisted on mandatory vaccination after public consultation with staff and others who provide services and residents. The health ministry spokesman announced that the measures would ensure “care home residents are better protected from the risk of death and serious illness that can arise from contracting Covid-19”, the health ministry spokesman announced.
In Germany, No Forced Vaccinations.
With nearly 50 per cent vaccinated, the government in Germany has no plans to make vaccination compulsory. However, the Chief of Staff to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, made clear in an interview that “those who refused vaccines should not expect to be given the same freedoms as those who have been fully vaccinated”. But Merkel has insisted there are no plans for mandatory vaccines in Germany.
Italy: Very Strict Anti-Covid Measures.
The Italian government has adopted some of the strictest anti-Covid measures ever in Europe. The measures adopted by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government are steps taken to persuade people to participate in the drive to curtail the spread of the highly contagious disease. The adopted measures make it obligatory for all workers to show “proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from infection”.
When the new rules come into effect from October 12, 2021, any worker who cannot show proof of a health certificate will not be sacked. However, such a worker would be “suspended on no pay”. Any worker who defies the decree and still goes to work faces a fine ranging from 600 to 1500 euros($705 – $1,175). Employers would also pay heavy penalties.
Italy’s sanctions are about the harshest so far adopted by any nation in the world. Italy has the second-highest highest Covid -19 death rate in Europe at 130,000. Only Britain surpassed this figure in Europe since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. With 74 per cent of its population of 60 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, it is one of the most vaccinated in Europe.
Several countries in Europe have made it mandatory for health workers to get vaccinated. In Italy, over 728 doctors who violated this order have been suspended since its effect in March this year. The figures for nurses have not been released by their workers’ unions.
Vaccines have reportedly reduced Covid death rate in Italy “by 96.3%, hospitalizations by 93.4% and intensive care admissions by 95.7%”. Such records obviously encouraged the government to adopt bold new sweeping measures.
Australia: Prolonged Lockdowns.
The Australian government has, through prolonged enforcement of lockdowns, controlled successive waves of the Covid pandemic. The situation was most difficult in the country’s two major cities Sydney and Melbourne.
Australia adopted mandatory Covid- 19 vaccination requirements for all residential aged care workers on September 17 2021. However, the mandate varies according to state and territory.