How Asia, once lagging behind in immunization, is boosting immunizations
Then came the Delta variant. Despite keeping their countries largely closed, the virus has found its way. And when it did, it spread quickly. In the summer, South Korea battled its worst wave of infections; hospitals in Indonesia ran out of oxygen and beds; and in Thailand, health workers have had to turn away patients.
With the increase in cases, countries quickly changed their approach to immunization.
Sydney, Australia, announced a lockdown in June after an unvaccinated limousine driver caught the Delta variant from an American crew. Then Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who previously said vaccination “is not a race,” in July called on Australians to “go for gold” in the country’s vaccination campaign.
The State of Vaccine Mandates in the United States
- Vaccination rules. On August 23, the FDA granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 years of age and older, paving the way for mandates in the public and private sectors. Such warrants are authorized by law and have been confirmed in court challenges.
- College and universities. More than 400 colleges and universities require students to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Almost all of them are in states that voted for President Biden.
- Schools. California became the first state to issue a vaccination warrant for all educators in public and private schools. New York City has also introduced a vaccination mandate for teachers and staff, but it has not yet come into effect due to legal issues. On September 27, a federal appeal board overturned a decision that temporarily suspended that mandate. this. Los Angeles has made vaccines mandatory for students 12 and older who attend in-person classes.
- Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and large healthcare systems require their employees to be vaccinated. Mandates for healthcare workers in California and New York state appear to have forced thousands of holdouts to receive injections.
- New York City. Proof of vaccination is required from workers and customers for indoor meals, gymnasiums, shows and other indoor situations. City education staff and hospital staff also need to be vaccinated.
- At the federal level. September 9 President Biden has announced a vaccination mandate for the vast majority of federal workers. This mandate will apply to employees of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed forces.
- In tthe private sector. Mr Biden demanded that all businesses with more than 100 employees require weekly vaccination or testing, helping to propel new corporate vaccination policies. Some companies, like United Airlines and Tyson Foods, had mandates in place before Mr. Biden’s announcement.
It has moved to overcome a supply shortage, made worse by the slow pace of regulatory approval. In August, Australia bought one million doses of Pfizer from Poland; This month, Mr. Morrison announced the purchase of one million Moderna shots in Europe.
When the Delta epidemic emerged, less than 25% of Australians over the age of 16 had received a single injection. In the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, 86 percent of the adult population has now received a first dose and 62 percent of adults are fully vaccinated. The country expects to fully immunize 80 percent of its population over the age of 16 by early November.
“There was great community leadership – there were people from all political walks of life who came out to support immunization,” said Greg Dore, infectious disease expert at the University of New South Wales. “It really helped us overcome a level of reluctance that was there. “
Many governments have used incentives to encourage vaccinations.
In South Korea, authorities in August eased restrictions on private gatherings for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to meet in larger groups while maintaining tighter restrictions for others. Singapore, which has fully immunized 82 percent of its population, has already announced similar measures.
The researchers also analyzed the pockets of people who refuse to be vaccinated and try to persuade them.