Vaccination numbers have increased slowly over the past few months throughout the United States. The percentage of fully vaccinated people among the entire population keeps staying around 50%. Just over 63% have received at least one dose.
Those numbers have not changed significantly for weeks. What has changed is the number of COVID-19 infections as the Delta variant ravages the country. Recently, the country surpassed 40 million infections since the start of the pandemic. 10% of those have been reported over the past few weeks since the start of the summer.
Whilst most states have been affected, it is clear to see that those with low vaccination rates are more affected than others. Hospitalizations and deaths are hitting those who have not been vaccinated.
Granted, the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 leads to infections in fully vaccinated people. But the vaccinations remain highly effective and prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Becoming vaccinated is about protecting your family, your friends, your work colleagues, and the people queueing around you in the supermarket.
Despite the scientists’ arguments, plenty of Americans remain hesitant to be vaccinated. Recently, their employers and – even more recently – the government are stepping in with vaccine mandates. They all are sending one message: it’s time that America pulled together and fought this virus as a community.
In late July, Google became the first big name in technology to mandate full vaccination for employees looking to return to the office this fall. The policy applies to Google’s United States campuses initially but will be rolled out across other territories later.
The fact is that the U.S. is in a privileged position where vaccines are widely available. Supply has been outstripping demand for months now. At the same time, other countries are struggling to secure sufficient supplies to protect their population with even one vaccine.
The policy is bound to affect approximately 80 million private-sector workers and employees. The mandate has raised questions from corporations, unions, and individuals. Politically, it is being challenged by several governors. Many stakeholders have questions over the implementation of the new policy, whilst government departments are fleshing out details.
Fighting the coronavirus pandemic is becoming personal. Vaccination is a choice, but it is also a responsibility.
As the number of infections increases, the virus also has more opportunities to mutate. Whilst the Delta variant is highly contagious, another new variant may lead to more severe disease. With fewer infections, there is a slimmer chance of new variants appearing. Vaccines are the country’s best chance to limit further infections.
Some Americans have been hesitant because they feared the vaccines were approved hastily and may not be safe. However, even emergency approval by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires rigorous testing and a thorough process.
In any case, worries about the vaccines’ safety should now be lessened as the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for anyone over the age of 16.
Moderna applied only weeks after Pfizer, and more regulatory action is likely to come in the next few weeks.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that three out of ten people, who have been hesitant about becoming vaccinated, may reconsider their position in light of full approval.
One of the biggest concerns voiced by companies covered by the vaccine mandate is related to the costs and disruption involved in vaccinations and testing. Neither needs to be difficult or unaffordable.
Platforms like Health & Wellness from TrueCare™ offer simple, cost-effective solutions that can be scaled to companies of any size. COVID-19 health screening starts before employees reach your location, limiting the exposure of others. Vaccinations can be organized at your location to minimize lost staff time and inconvenience.
However, the biggest role employers have to play is when it comes to showing their team that getting vaccinated is good for everyone. It protects not only the individual but everyone around them. Not every business can allow its team to work from home. Becoming vaccinated helps those you work with daily as well as their families. It limits their chance of infection and dramatically limits their risk of hospitalization or death. It is time for America to pull together and beat this virus.
TrueCare™ is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.