By Olivia Pocat
The Covid vaccine provides an opportunity for protection against Covid, decreasing the risk of serious infection by up to 95%. Originally, to fully be vaccinated against Covid, two doses were needed of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine proved effective. Individuals with weakened immune systems due to any type of health concerns are eligible for a third vaccine dose, which provides further protection against the virus. So far, 1 million people within the United States have received a third dose or booster shot of the vaccine. The general community in the USA, however, will not be eligible for a booster shot or third dose until September 20th, if approved by the CDC. On the other hand, Israel has started to administer a third dose of the vaccine in order to avoid another lockdown. A record level of new cases and studies proving that a booster shot will reduce the risk of severe illness by tenfold have convinced the Israeli government to enforce these new mandates.
Even though the United States and Israel, China, France, Brazil and other countries have managed to vaccinate millions of people within their populations, third world countries lack the resources to do so. Ten countries hold a monopoly on vaccines, having distributed three quarters of all Covid shots. Lower class countries have not had the chance to vaccinate their populations, causing outbreaks and high death rates. Statistics prove that 99% of Covid deaths have been from unvaccinated persons, which is why getting resources and shots to areas who aren’t protected is a priority. Some would argue that booster shot or third vaccine campaigns should be paused until third world countries gain access to the vaccines they need to protect their populations.
Vaccination mandates and recommendations have been beneficial in getting the population vaccinated. 800 colleges and universities, more than 200 health care employers and dozens of states, local governments and school districts have implemented vaccination requirements, including the Biden administration recommending vaccination by all eligible individuals. Nonetheless, pushback against the vaccine continues to exist. At the Cincinnati medical center, 30% of nurses have expressed that they would rather quit their job than get vaccinated. This resistance stems from requirements that all healthcare workers in Cincinnati must be vaccinated. Overall, vaccination requirements have worked, driving up vaccination rates. Only one out of five people do not want to get vaccinated; the White house claims that the pace of Covid shots is accelerating, reaching 900,000 vaccinations performed per day.
Finally, professional sports leagues, including the NFL and NBA have started to enforce stricter laws for their players and staff. The NBA has implemented a vaccination mandate for any staff, including referees, coaches, and officials if they ever come into contact with players. The NFL has also enforced restrictions and fines for players. Unvaccinated players must be tested daily, as well as required to wear a mask while indoors in any team facility. If players are caught without a mask within a team facility, they will be fined $15,000 by the NFL. An unvaccinated Buffalo Bills wide receiver was fined for not wearing a mask on multiple occasions, and several days later posted that he had gotten his first dose of the Covid vaccine. 93% of players and 99% of staff have been vaccinated, and the NFL is looking to increase testing for vaccinated players to once every seven days, and has communicated that they would welcome a vaccination mandate for the safety of their players and fans.