Place strategy

Governments put pressure on the unvaccinated as Omicron pops up

Credit: Marco Verch/Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Governments around the world are scrambling to care for their unvaccinated citizens as they grapple with hospitals nearly full of exhausted and traumatized patients and healthcare workers after two years of battling the coronavirus.

The unprecedented decision of the United States Supreme Court ruling that the United States government, through OSHA, does not have the power to compel American companies with more than 100 employees has added fuel to the flames of those who refuse to get vaccinated for a host of reasons.

The power of federal governments, like that of the United States and Australia, which today decided to revoke the visa of tennis’ No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic, is being exercised around the world in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Grecian Delight supports Greece

Currently, the countries of Austria, Greece, Ecuador and the Canadian province of Quebec have some of the strictest vaccination policies of any government in the world, with anyone over the age of 60 in Greece fined if they do not accept the inoculation. .

Now anyone over that age who hasn’t been vaccinated has to pay a hefty fine of $114.00 – every month. Draconian legislation has led to huge increases in vaccinations for this age group in Greece.

But at what price does this come for the concept of individual freedom?

Although most countries now have warrants for everyone working in health care, the concept of universal warrants for an entire population is a difficult legal issue, with the idea of ​​individual freedom differing from country to country. ‘other.

Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, tells The telegraph “Governments are frustrated. If all vaccinated adults were vaccinated, (the) pandemic would be over.

“Intensive care units are full of people who chose not to get vaccinated and then later regret it,” she explained, asking “Is this fair to doctors and nurses? who need care for heart attacks and other life-threatening illnesses?”

Austria, the first nation to impose a universal vaccination mandate; still not in force

Austria was the first European country to propose a generalized vaccination mandate for its entire population; however, the plan has yet to be put into practice. That could become law later this spring, although the penalties that could be meted out to those who refuse the shot are unknown at this time.

A nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated began there last November, the same time the government floated the idea of ​​a blanket vaccination mandate.

This country has taken by far the strongest measures against the pandemic, with the Austrian government planning to impose a fine of €3,600 on all citizens over the age of 14 for each three-month period they continue to refuse injections.

Two months ago, when the country issued its decision, the percentage of Austrians who had been shot was 68%; now it is up to 74%.

The Austrian government is still considering pursuing a universal mandate which, if adopted, would be the first in Europe. While technical issues may mean the scheme won’t come into effect until April, if the initiative is implemented it will be binding until 2024.

Austrians must already show proof of recovery from the virus or proof of vaccination with at least two injections before being allowed to enter most public places.

Philippines sees 2000% increase in Covid-19 cases

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that anyone who is unvaccinated and violates stay-at-home orders be arrested and thrown in jail. This nation has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases of nearly 2,000% since the start of this month. However, prisons in this country are notoriously overcrowded, which would inevitably lead to more infections.

Duterte said last week he was “appalled” by the paltry vaccination numbers in his country; only about 51% of Filipinos have received at least one vaccine and only 34% are fully immunized there.

Whether using tough tactics like this will work is up for debate. Some say these measures only martyr figures such as Djokovic, adding fuel to the fire in the antivaxxer movement.

Others say there are measures showing that – as in Greece – such decisions do in fact encourage the public to get vaccinated, for the greater good of society.

Singapore, one of the world’s biggest economic powerhouses, is focusing on workers in its fight against the pandemic, deciding that from January 15 only fully vaccinated employees or those who have recovered from a coronavirus infection past 180 days will be allowed to work.

Singapore now has 90% vaccination rate after work mandate imposed

Dr Alex Cook, from Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, says the new restrictions are indeed serving their purpose in Singapore, which is famous for its rule of law. “The intention of these measures was to deter people from remaining unvaccinated, and it worked: over 90% of people aged five or over have been vaccinated in Singapore, and around half have received their booster shots” , he told The Telegraph.

The Canadian province of Quebec, which has seen by far the worst coronavirus infection rates during the pandemic, is firing no shots in its fresh efforts to curb the pandemic, fining anyone who continues to refuse the shot .

Premier François Legault announced Wednesday that the province will impose what he calls a “health contribution” on all those who are not vaccinated.

Legault made an appearance at a vaccination site this week, where he said that “in this exceptional context, asking the unvaccinated to pay a reasonable price is understandable”.

It’s still unclear exactly how this would play out or even exactly how much the fine would be, but vaccine appointments are now happening at a breakneck pace in the province.

Moreover, much like the case in Greece, where parents can lose custody of their children after refusing to send them to school during the pandemic, an unvaccinated father in Quebec lost visitation rights to his child from 12 years after a judge ruled that it would not be in the “best interests” of the child in the “current epidemiological context”.

Germany to consider national vaccine mandate in January

Germany is also launching the concept of a universal mandate; vaccinations were also made compulsory there for health professionals in December. Later in January, the German Bundestag will debate whether or not to impose a full national mandate.

Although the Supreme Court terminated the Biden mandate for all workplaces employing more than 100 people, in fact, mandates for federal workers, including the military, amount to a de facto mandate at all levels. This alone represents 3.5 million individuals; added to the prevalent mandates of health care workers across the United States, this constitutes a large portion of all working-age people.

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Biden vaccine mandate; cities impose their own rules

As of Friday, 62.8% of all Americans are vaccinated, though in some states — mostly in the Northeast — rates are much higher, reaching 78.4% in Vermont. Due to the power of individual states and cities, however, some have taken matters into their own hands, imposing mandates for indoor sites.

New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, along with a slew of smaller cities, already have vaccination mandates in place for anyone who wants to frequent indoor spaces such as restaurants, bars and gyms. In New York, the warrant now even includes children as young as five.

France, initially a hotbed of anti-vaxxer sentiment, is now experiencing a crackdown on those still unvaccinated, with French President Macron telling those hesitant to get vaccinated to “fuck it” last week.

After making this remark, as well as another, when he said that the “irresponsible” people “were not citizens” of France, the new decisions that were before Parliament were adopted, in effect prohibiting all those who are not vaccinated to enter public places.

Dr Thomas Hale, associate professor of global public policy at the University of Oxford, says such strategies do indeed work to entice hesitant people to get vaccinated.

“My reading of the evidence is that mandating vaccination clearly increases the number of people who get vaccinated,” he said, adding that “such strategies can be particularly effective in places where there is a high degree of apathy or slight skepticism towards vaccines”. .”