Daily Bread for 9.30.21: Immunization Mandates Are Right and Effective

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 85.  Sunrise is 6:51 AM and sunset 6:36 PM for 11h 44m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 36.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1947,  1947 World Series (Yankees v. Brooklyn Dodgers, with Yankees in 7) begins. It is the first to be televised, to include an African-American player, to exceed $2 million in receipts, to see a pinch-hit home run, and to have six umpires on the field.

 David Leonhardt writes The Right to Health (‘Immunization mandates aren’t new. One helped win the American Revolution’):

The United States owes its existence as a nation partly to an immunization mandate.

In 1777, smallpox was a big enough problem for the bedraggled American army that George Washington thought it could jeopardize the Revolution. An outbreak had already led to one American defeat, at the Battle of Quebec. To prevent more, Washington ordered immunizations — done quietly, so the British would not hear how many Americans were sick — for all troops who had not yet had the virus.

It worked. The number of smallpox cases plummeted, and Washington’s army survived a war of attrition against the world’s most powerful country. The immunization mandate, as Ron Chernow wrote in his 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Washington, “was as important as any military measure Washington adopted during the war.”


As was the case with Washington’s army, the mandates are largely succeeding:

  • California’s policy has led thousands of previously unvaccinated medical workers to receive shots in recent weeks. At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, about 800 additional workers have been vaccinated since the policy was announced last month, bringing the hospital’s vaccination rate to 97 percent, according to my colleague Shawn Hubler.

  • When New York State announced a mandate for hospital and nursing-home staff members in August, about 75 percent of them had received a shot. By Monday, the share had risen to 92 percent. The increase amounts to roughly 100,000 newly vaccinated people.

  • At Trinity Health, a hospital chain in 22 states, the increase has been similar — to 94 percent from 75 percent, The Times’s Reed Abelson reports. At Genesis HealthCare, which operates long-term-care facilities in 23 states, Covid cases fell by nearly 50 percent after nearly all staff members had finished receiving shots this summer.

Often, the number of people who ultimately refuse the vaccine is smaller than the number who first say they will. Some are persuaded by the information their employer gives them — about the vaccines’ effectiveness and safety, compared with the deadliness of Covid — and others decide they are not really willing to lose their jobs.

A North Carolina hospital system, Novant Health, last week suspended 375 workers, or about 1 percent of its work force, for being unvaccinated. By the end of the week, more than half of them — about 200 — received a shot and were reinstated.

It’s a free labor market: employees who don’t want to be vaccinated can find jobs elsewhere, with smaller or less responsible employers.  Under no circumstances should they receive unemployment compensation for dismissal or quitting after an employer immunization mandate. See The ‘Personal Responsibility’ Crowd Wants a Handout and No Shirt, No Shoes? No Service

See also Cato adjunct scholar, and George Mason law professor, Ilya Somin on why vaccine mandates are consistent with libertarian views. (Summarizing: (1) a disease like COVID involves the potential of harm to other people (2) mask mandates, lockdowns, and restrictions on international travel are all much more intrusive than the relatively slight imposition of a safe and effective vaccine (3) there is a strong libertarian case that private institutions, and even the government when acting as employer, can set policies attached to what are voluntary relationships: employees, customers, students, etc. (4) Florida’s recent attempt to ban private businesses such as cruise lines from adopting vaccine requirements has already suffered defeat in court and is one example of an affront to libertarian sensibilities.)

This Coonhound Holds the World Record for Longest Dog Ears:

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2 years ago

[…] See also Employers Have Rights — and Obligations to Workplace Safety and Immunization Mandates Are Right and Effective. […]