Many people do not consider the pandemic an important part of their daily lives.
However, in some liberal cities, universities, and companies, certain people still need to be vaccinated. They may require up to four shots in order to maintain their job or to remain in school.
Some mandates are being challenged and protested more frequently.
Two dozen ex-firefighters from Seattle sued the city for refusing to grant them religious exemptions and for firing them.
New York City’s largest police union sued to invalidate the city’s vaccination mandate for its members. A judge ruled that the union’s contract was not able to force such a mandate. All union-backed members who were fired in violation of the vaccination requirements must be reinstated by the judge.
New York City officials stated that they would fight the ruling. As of the end of March, more than 1,700 city workers in all departments were fired for refusing to comply with the mandate.
Four former employees at a retirement facility in Alabama were fired last week. They filed a lawsuit against their former employer alleging discrimination. Four former employees claim that their requests for religious exemptions from the company’s vaccination mandate were not granted.
Over the past year, political support for mandates like these has fallen precipitously. Even the most passionate defenders of mandates have had to reverse the requirements they once supported.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), for instance, boasted that his vaccine requirement had almost doubled the state’s vaccination rate in January. Inslee stressed that vaccination is more important than any intervention in combating COVID-19.
Inslee announced the cancellation of the vaccine mandate earlier in the month. He set an Oct. 31 expiration date and cited the value of “different tools that are more appropriate for this era.”
Goldman Sachs required COVID-19 vaccines for its employees. Boosters were also needed for those who worked in its offices. This was going on for several months. In late August, the investment bank ended its mandate for vaccines. It also stopped testing and providing mask guidance.
Other large companies, which pushed for vaccine mandates last year aggressively when the Biden administration lost the battle to require vaccinations in almost all workplaces, are now abandoning their policies.
Comcast recently removed its mandate to employees for vaccines as it struggles with attracting workers back to the office. JPMorgan Chase, however, stated earlier this year that they would be hiring unvaccinated workers.
Some corporations insist that workers receive their COVID-19 shots.
According to Axios, Google and Facebook require vaccinations for their in-person employees.
One of the most controversial vaccine mandates still in effect is those imposed by Washington, D.C., officials on public school children. To remain in Washington, D.C. public schools, students 12 years old and older must have been fully vaccinated by January. The original deadline was set for this fall, however, the vaccination rates of black students were so low that the city leaders extended the date.
Some universities and colleges require boosters and vaccines for all students, even online. Georgetown University requires that all online students be fully vaccinated, even if they are bringing their classes to campus.
Even vaccinated students at the University of California Berkeley will not be allowed to sign up for classes until they have received a booster shot. Recipients are generally not eligible for boosters for several months after receiving their first vaccination series. In the event that a student is not eligible for their booster shot yet, UC Berkeley rules state that students will not be allowed to enroll until after they have been eligible.
Others are slowly rolling back vaccine mandates to balance growing opposition to COVID-19 rules and the demands of groups who want them to be implemented indefinitely.
Eric Adams, the New York City Mayor (D), ended last week the city’s policy of requiring private companies to have vaccinations for their employees. However, he retained the city’s mandate for vaccines for its own workers.