Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center would like the governor to remove his employment mandate on his own; if not, lawmakers need to find a way to intervene
Washington Policy Center
A new study published Thursday in The Lancet finds that the immunity generated from a COVID-19 infection was found to be “at least as high, if not higher” than that provided by two doses of an mRNA vaccine, study authors write.
The finding should be giving Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and the state’s Legislature a headache. The governor-imposed vaccine mandate on state employees has been outdated and misguided since it began terminating workers in October of 2021. It smells worse every day.
NBC News highlighted the study, writing that immunity acquired from a COVID-19 infection “provides strong, lasting protection against the most severe outcomes of the illness, according to research — protection, experts say, that’s on par with what’s provided through two doses of an mRNA vaccine.” It quotes senior study author, Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, saying, “This is really good news, in the sense that protection against severe disease and death after infection is really quite sustained at 10 months.”
The governor’s vaccine mandate for state workers does not recognize the value of natural immunity. It has never been patient-centric policy.
It’s time for the state to stop punishing the unvaccinated. A vaccinated state worker who is still employed by the state can contract and spread and get sick from COVID-19, while an unvaccinated worker might not. Instead of following the science, a permanent vaccine mandate now exists for some state employees and potential new hires, and the governor continues to reiterate his commitment to the harmful policy — harmful to individuals, the state workforce and taxpayer-funded and -expected services.
Bills to end the problematic mandate or rehire employees who lost their careers because of it are being ignored by legislative leaders. Today was the last day for bills to be heard in committees and move on.
Let’s hope the governor removes his employment mandate on his own. If not, lawmakers need to find a way to intervene. Labor unions that negotiated booster bribes with the governor should also step up and represent their former employees and potential new workers.
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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