Opinion: State-employment vaccine mandate remains — but boosters for state employees will likely be incentivized, not required

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center points out that instead of patient-centered health decisions about COVID-19, made between doctors and patients, we have costly and coercive state giveaways.
Image courtesy State of Washington

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center points out that instead of patient-centered health decisions about COVID-19, made between doctors and patients, we have costly and coercive state giveaways

Elizabeth Hovde
Washington Policy Center

Remember last summer when the state was acting like Oprah and giving away prizes to people for getting vaccines? “You get a game system!” “You get tuition!” “You win the lottery!” 

Elizabeth Hovde
Elizabeth Hovde

My teenage boys were disappointed it didn’t work out for me. It did for others. Washington state gave away more than $2 million in prizes as incentives for Washingtonians to get COVID-19 vaccines before the state’s “reopening.” It included a $1 million grand prize called the “Shot of a lifetime.” All you had to do to get in the sweepstakes was be a state resident and be one of the people in the state who had received a shot. 

I was reminded of the state’s bribing activity of 2021 when reading a press release from the governor’s office last week. It said the governor was updating his directive that boosters would be added to his vaccine mandate. Instead of requiring the boosters, the press release explained, “The updated directive reflects feedback and recommendations from state employees and labor partners to pursue options for offering incentives for COVID-19 boosters instead of making them a requirement.” 

A June 30 Inslee directive made the vaccine mandate permanent and added a booster requirement for new and current executive and small-cabinet agency employees. That is the directive that was updated. The Office of Financial Management (OFM) was said to be in the process of bargaining with labor, and more information would be on the way regarding the incentives and their implementation. Read more in my blog here.

Prizes and incentives — not patient-centered health decisions

Given what we now know about COVID-19 and the vaccines’ limitations, some people are calling the governor’s mandate and the booster addition a thinly-veiled political test. While vaccines and boosters help fight severe illness, after all, they do not stop the spread or contraction of the disease. 

Whether or not these employment requirements are some sort of political test, it’s disturbing that nothing has gotten in the way of Inslee insisting on his outdated vaccine mandate before this labor pressure — not the outcry of workers who lost their careers or suffering state service levels. Instead of patient-centered health decisions about COVID-19, made between doctors and patients, we have costly and coercive state giveaways.

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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    Good to see that religious exemptions are upheld for some healthcare workers in other states.$10.3 Million Settlement Reached in First COVID Vaccine Mandate Class Action Suit Involving Healthcare Workers
    Meanwhile, Pfizer continues to sell emergency use mRNA Covid vaccines for babies 6 months old thru seniors, virtually liability free, and Pfizer Annual Revenue Doubled — to $81.3 Billion — Thanks to COVID Vaccines . Both vaccine makers, and WA state should be held liable for the serious health declines and deaths too many have suffered after vaccination. The money used to promote these fast tracked products and enrich the manufacturers even more should be directed to helping those who experience serious health issues, and warning the public of the risks.

    Nearly 30,000 Deaths Reported to Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting Sustem, Including 17-Year-Old Who Died of Myocarditis 5 Months After Pfizer Shot

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    Good to see unions putting their foot down on booster mandates, and that Gov. Inslee backed down. It shows that the science is not on his side and he knows it. Slowly, the tide is turning.

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    Huge $$ are being wasted on both maintaining and amplifying ailments. Utterly detrimental to the patients’s overall quality of life – but hugely profitable to those who propagate this greed-based allopathic practice.
    For example: any adverse effects from drug ‘A’ are treated with drug ‘A.1’ etc, resulting in a cascade of drugs, often lifelong. This drug cascade looks much like a family tree!
    Those $$ should be spent on helping populations adopt a lifestyle that promotes lasting wellness and robust resilience to disease, naturally and without the crutch of any prescription drugs.
    Prescription drugs should only be used as a last resort and only if it is:

    1. Medically necessary; and
    2. Clinically indicated.

    US has one of the highest ratings in obesity, high blood pressure, T2diabetes, cancer, dementia, CVD, opioid addiction, and a raft of other ailments, none of which has been healed with pharma drugs. Symptoms are covered up – yet full healing or reversal of the ailment never happens.
    Shameful, to say the least, for a country that boasts being the ‘greatest’ in so many aspects. Time for honest in-depth self-reflection followed by positive corrective action for the benefit of all.
    Most importantly: Do No Harm.


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