US President Joe Biden has ordered the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of millions of workers. Meanwhile, the UK Government has decided to back down from its attempt to require vaccination passports for discos and other mass events.
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We review how COVID-19 vaccination and passports are being imposed in the world:
New rules in the US
The new US regulations require most public employees to be vaccinated, as well as workers in companies with more than 100 employees, who must be vaccinated or, otherwise, show a negative test result.
These stringent new requirements apply to around 17 million health workers, as well as educators in schools and programs run by the federal government.
In addition, Biden has asked governors to require vaccinations for school personnel. The new rules, which will be applied within the framework of occupational health legislation, would cover between 80 and 100 million people. Postal service workers, however, are not included in the Biden decree.
There are those who have gone further. One of the largest school districts in Los Angeles has made the COVID vaccine mandatory for students 12 years of age and older. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it is working around the clock to authorize the COVID Vaccines for Young Children.
The mandatory vaccination in schools has the support of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, who has said: “I think that requiring vaccines for children to go to school is a good idea.”
Which countries oblige health workers to get vaccinated?
A number of countries, such as Australia, France, England and Wales, have taken measures for compulsory vaccinations for healthcare workers, including those who work in nursing homes.
This summer, France was one of the first to push for compulsory vaccination for healthcare personnel. In July, Greece made immunization mandatory for nursing home staff and, as of September, for health workers.
Canada has been less systematic. British Columbia announced in mid-August that COVID vaccinations would be mandatory for all nursing home staff, becoming the first Canadian province to do so.
Italy has decreed to suspend without pay for the rest of the year health workers, including pharmacists, who are not inoculated.
What about workers from other countries?
Canada said on August 13 that he would demand vaccination to all federal civil servants and many other workers. The vaccine will also be mandatory for passengers on airplanes, trains or cruise ships.
Fiji has been even more strict: on August 15 the policy of “no vaccine, no work” came into force, Reuters reports, and unvaccinated public officials will be forced to take the leave. Those who remain unvaccinated in November will be fired.
This week, the Italian Government has taken another step forward and will demand the so-called “green pass” from all workers – in the public and private sectors -, a measure that will come into force on October 15. This certificate shows that someone has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, has passed the disease or has undergone a negative test in the hours before showing it.
Meanwhile, Greece has introduced this Monday mandatory weekly tests for public and private sector employees, who must pay for them or carry a vaccination certificate to access their workplace.
Who asks for vaccination passports in different places?
The Boris Johnson government has long hesitated on the idea of asking for vaccination passports to enter discos before discarding it. This Friday, the Prime Minister of Wales announced that, starting next month, citizens will have to show the COVID-19 pass to enter nightclubs and attend events.
Measure has been adopted in other countries. In Greece, as part of the new measures, vaccinated customers are only allowed into bars, cinemas, theaters and other closed spaces.
France forced the presentation of the health pass in cafes, bars and restaurants as the country faced a new wave of coronavirus infections, and the pass is believed to have contributed to curbing that increase. A month after that system went into effect, there was a drop in coronavirus infections and millions of people were encouraged to get vaccinated.
Since July, Italy has also required the “green pass” to attend any indoor activity, including museums, hotels and restaurants, as well as to travel on trains and airplanes.
What about the general obligation to get vaccinated?
Italy is toying with the idea of going even further. Prime Minister Mario Draghi has hinted that his government could make vaccines for COVID-19 are mandatory, which has sparked controversy in the country, where there has recently been an increase in protests and anti-vaccine violence.
Thus, it would imitate Indonesia, which announced mandatory vaccination in February, with possible high fines for those who do not comply with the measure.
Translation by Julián Cnochaert.