Opinion: Study continues on COVID-19 — as does state’s coercive vaccine mandate on state employees

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center states ‘the vaccine mandate does not serve public health, isn't patient-centered and hurts the state’s workforce’

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center states ‘the vaccine mandate does not serve public health, isn’t patient-centered and hurts the state’s workforce’

Elizabeth Hovde
Washington Policy Center

A new study found that exposure to young children did not lower COVID-19 infection rates but was associated with protection against severe COVID-19 illness. 

Elizabeth Hovde
Elizabeth Hovde

Study authors write, “Our findings, based on data prior to the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, provide potential epidemiologic evidence to suggest the possibility that cross-immunity to non-SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses may provide a level of protection against severe COVID-19 illness.”

The finding is music to some parents’ ears, after two-plus anxiety-filled years. 

Studies like this one in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journal, should remind us why it is inappropriate to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employment, child care or school attendance. We simply don’t know enough and are learning more each day.

A Washington State Board of Health advisory committee agreed with that and rightly recommended that the State Board of Health not add COVID-19 vaccination to the list of required shots for K-12 students. The board accepted that recommendation.  Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, on the other hand, has mandated vaccines and boosters for some state employees. His directives on the issue have strengthened over time, despite COVID-19 lessening in severity and knowledge that the COVID-19 vaccines do not stop the contraction or spread of the disease.

COVID-19 is serious, but it is no longer a public-health crisis. It has become like other viruses that we have to deal with and do so in reasonable and voluntary ways. And we are continually learning new things that could be used to better guide public policy.

We are learning more about how the virus spreads and doesn’t and what nature lends us for help. We are also learning new things about the available COVID-19 vaccines, and we will eventually be learning more about long-term impacts associated with COVID-19 and the vaccines. We haven’t had “long-term” to weigh yet. 

That is being taken into account by parents.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week shows that parents of the youngest children are not clamoring to get shots in the arms of their kids, despite the Food and Drug Administration’s recent authorization. A majority (53%) of them view the vaccine as a bigger risk to child health than their kids getting infected with COVID-19, KFF reports. Balancing risk has always been important as we live with COVID-19. 

As informative research about the virus and its promising cures continues, and as some numbers continue to show higher positivity rates for COVID-19 among the boosted than those who are fully vaccinated (but not the unvaccinated), Inslee has been reiterating that his booster-inclusive vaccine mandate is going to be permanent for some state employees

This coercive directive in Washington state is not appropriate. COVID-19 vaccines appear to help fight severe illness and death, but the vaccine mandate does not serve public health, isn’t patient-centered and hurts the state’s workforce. 

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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  1. Sylvia

    Thank you for yet another timely article. Here’s hoping that many more will read it with an open mind, ie free of bias,, denial and dogma.
    Why is it that what has been blatantly obvious from the very early days of the ‘plandemic’ has taken an inordinately long time to surface?
    Mandates have turned the ‘plandemic’ into a ‘plandemic for the jabbed’. Again, it is a fact that increasing numbers of the jabbed, double/triple/quadruple, have caught Covid19 again – often more than once. Blame it on yet another mutation of the virus that has once again proven to have undoubted superior sophistication and intelligence!
    Some facts from the scare tactics, mandates, and manipulative attempts:

    1. The economy is in a dire state;
    2. ‘Healthcare’ is looking more like ‘disease maintenance’;
    3. Loss of employment, ie less tax payers and higher cost of living;
    4. Rampant recurrence of Covid19 among the jabbed, whether double or triple or quadruple jabs;
    5. The unethical vilification of health professionals who do their utmost to honor the Hippocratic Oath;
    6. Increasing divisiveness in a country that is already ultra divisive and rife with violence;
    7. A president who continues to create dissent by spruiking lies and making false promises – despite himself catching Covid19 post quadruple jabs;
    8. The president’s trusted advisor, dr Fauci, having had 4 jabs but also catching Covid19, followed by another bout post Paxlovid, issuing conflicting statements on natural immunity.

    It is time for us all to demand that the US Administration gives full focus on resolving the myriad of internal issues, and stop distracting public attention to external issues in foreign sovereign countries. As elected officials one of their primary responsibilities is to maintain equitability, quality of life, and order – these are part of the essence of democracy. Can you “Walk the Talk” and also “Walk the Walk” Joe Biden? Another important lesson is for Biden to learn the art of Mutual Respect, Collaboration, and Peaceful Conflict Resolution. Stop adding to the ever growing list of ‘enemies’.
    If a president acts within the rules of Democracy, there is hope that State Leaders may follow.
    Show the world who and what you really are, Joe Biden – the mid-terms are fast approaching.

    1. Wolfie

      Our state is literally scrambling to find teachers, hospital staff, daycare providers.. etc etc. Why? Because thousands lost their jobs under our dictator governor. His mandates need to be taken down, those let go offered their jobs back without restriction and lets get things moving.

      1. Sylvia

        Elected public servants are elected by the people and, as such, are responsible and accountable to the people for their actions.
        1. The People are responsible for making their voting decisions, and
        2. The People have the Power to elect.
        Make your vote count! Nothing lasts forever; sooner or later the time will come. Not worth stressing over something that cannot be changed immediately. In the meantime, practise self-compassion and always nurture your wellness.


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