Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center explains why the vaccine mandate needs to be thrown out along with the booster directive
Washington Policy Center
Updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said COVID-19 recommendations will no longer differentiate based on vaccination status. CDC officials told reporters the new guidelines acknowledge that most Americans have some form of protection from the virus (having had prior infection or vaccination), and they are unlikely to become seriously ill.
That acknowledgment has yet to be realized by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. He is holding on to his outdated vaccine mandate as a condition of employment, discriminating against state workers, including those fired last fall and future workers.
In October, numbers from the Office of Financial Management and news reports showed nearly 1,900 people were fired, resigned or retired due to the mandate for state employees. People’s careers were ruined, their individual and family finances suffered, and state service levels were harmed and remain worrisome.
A mandate was made before there was enough knowledge about vaccination or COVID-19, and our state is paying the price for the misguided policy.
The CDC guidance is a great opportunity for the governor to reverse his vaccine mandate. He could say, “Due to new CDC guidelines, it is an appropriate time to end my vaccine mandate and continue to look out for one another in other preventative ways.”
He is already updating a recent directive that was going to require the vaccine mandate to include boosters. Instead of the booster requirement, it appears the state will offer incentives for boosters. This change looks as if it was made under the influence of labor negotiations — not because people can contract or spread COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. I’m trying to learn more about the reasoning.
Inslee said the booster addition was necessary to keep people safe, but it appears it is now simply a bargaining chip for union negotiation, open to a system of incentives that will likely cost taxpayers money. Instead of protecting people’s health, taxpayers could be spending more money and not always ensuring fully boosted state workplaces. Perfect. (Read more about the updated directive here and here.)
The vaccine mandate needs to be thrown out along with the booster directive. The CDC’s updated guidelines offer an excellent opportunity.
Elizabeth Hovde is a policy analyst and the director of the Centers for Health Care and Worker Rights at the Washington Policy Center. She is a Clark County resident.
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