As a result, Americans from all political walks are relying on evidence, such as an announcement by the Israeli Ministry of Health in July that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against symptomatic infections – but not against them. serious illnesses – decreased over time. Others trusted their intuition, whether it was taking drugs dangerous for livestock to “cure” the virus or seeking a booster before it was officially recommended.
“This is the result of poor risk communication and a lack of political and scientific transparency over the past 18 months,” said Rachael Piltch-Loeb, researcher and researcher in public health emergency preparedness and response at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It is also a reflection of the fact that people feel a total lack of control over what is going on in society at this point. One of the things that one can do to protect oneself is to take the science into account. hand. “
Understanding the mandates of vaccines and masks in the United States
- Vaccination rules. On August 23, the Food and Drug Administration fully approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 years of age and older, paving the way for increased tenure in the public and private sectors. Private companies increasingly require vaccines for their employees. Such warrants are authorized by law and have been confirmed in court challenges.
- Mask rules. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July recommended that all Americans, regardless of immunization status, wear masks in indoor public places in areas affected by epidemics, a reversal of guidelines it offered in May. . See where the CDC guidelines would apply and where states have instituted their own mask policies. The battle for masks has become controversial in some states, with some local leaders defying state bans.
- 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 and New York City have both introduced vaccination mandates for education staff. A survey released in August found that many American parents of school-aged children are opposed to mandatory vaccines for students, but were more in favor of mask mandates for students, teachers and staff who don’t. don’t have their vaccines.
- Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and large healthcare systems are requiring their employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, citing an increase in the number of cases fueled by the Delta variant and stubbornly low vaccination rates in their communities, even within their hand -work.
- New York City. Proof of vaccination is required from workers and customers for indoor meals, gyms, shows and other indoor situations, although application does not begin until September 13. Teachers and other education workers in the city’s vast school system will need to have at least one vaccine dose by September 27, with no possibility of weekly testing. Employees of the city’s hospitals must also get vaccinated or undergo weekly tests. Similar rules are in place for New York State employees.
- At the federal level. The Pentagon has said it will seek to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory for the nation’s 1.3 million active-duty soldiers “no later than” mid-September. President Biden announced that all federal civilian employees should be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements and restrictions on most travel.
For vaccinated people living in areas where many have avoided vaccines and masks, proactively taking a booster is like buying insurance on a rental car: they may not need it, but that reassures them.
Many have found volunteer partners in pharmacies and health care providers.
Bruni Baeza, 83, walked into a CVS in Miami, showed the white vaccine card that showed seven months had passed since her last injection, and was immediately given a booster, she said in an e -mail from her birthday cruise – the impetus, she said, to get the third shot.
Pharmacies deny that they knowingly let people flout guidelines. “Patients are asked to attest that all information provided, including their medical condition, is true and correct when making vaccination appointments on CVS.com and when receiving their vaccination,” said Ethan Slavin, spokesperson for the company. Mr Slavin said that “we cannot speak of anecdotal reports” that CVS is giving reminders to clients like Ms Baeza, who shared a recording of her third dose with a reporter.
Self-selection boosters are generally viewed negatively by public health experts. Like vaccine denial, they say, that doesn’t take into consideration the broader fight against the pandemic, which they say should focus on vaccinating the 25% of Americans who are eligible but unvaccinated, or on vaccinating those who are eligible. inhabitants of poor countries.
“It flies in the face of what is required in a pandemic,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California at San Francisco. “The challenge is, especially in a pandemic, that individual choice is important, but the whole strategy has to do with our collective choices and responsibility.”