With the advance of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which has once again increased the number of new cases of Covid-19 around the world, government officials have looked for different ways to encourage people to get vaccinated against the disease. , ranging from giving stimuli to conditional access to bars and nightclubs.
New York was the latest. The American city announced on Tuesday (3) that anyone wishing to frequent bars, restaurants, gyms and other commercial establishments must prove that they are vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We know that this [a obrigatoriedade da vacinação] that’s what’s going to turn the tide, ”said Mayor Bill de Blasio. The measure will be implemented gradually and will take effect definitively from September 13.
The decision is the first to issue any type of health card in the United States, but similar measures have been adopted elsewhere. The most notorious is that of the French government, which, if on the one hand it made millions run for a vaccine, on the other it rekindled the protests against the government of Emmanuel Macron in a sort of European vaccine revolt. .
Last month, France decided to require a vaccination certificate even in open places such as amusement parks and music festivals, but also to go to cafes, restaurants and museums and to use transport. in common.
The idea was to encourage more people to research the vaccine, and it worked. Macron has just announced the plan, even before approval in Parliament, that within 24 hours 1.7 million French people (2.5% of the population) set aside time to schedule vaccination.
Since the announcement, however, the streets of the country have been the scene of massive protests for three consecutive weekends, which have called into question what they call an attack on individual freedoms and echoed the yellow vests protests of 2018. Last Saturday (31), for example, more than 200,000 people took to the streets to question the requirement. Attacks have been reported against vaccination centers in city centers and on the French island of Martinique in the Caribbean.
Resistance to proposals making vaccination mandatory in certain situations is common in countries around the world that have adopted such mechanisms, such as Italy, Greece, Hungary or Australia, which require vaccination of health workers or other high risk areas.
In Brazil, the measure’s most notorious opponent was President Jair Bolsonaro, who spoke out against the requirement long before vaccination began in the country. In the end, the Superior Federal Court even considered it constitutional for states and municipalities to force the population to be vaccinated, but the idea was never accepted.
Last week, the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, announced in the plan to reopen the city that anyone wishing to attend stadiums, parties and concert halls will have to prove through the Connect SUS application of the Ministry of Health that she is completely immune.
But the situation is different here compared to other countries. Despite the president’s speech, the majority of the Brazilian population defends that the vaccine is compulsory. Datafolha’s March survey showed that 70% of the population support the demand, a number that has increased over time from the 56% recorded in December. The most recent survey, dating from July, showed that 94% of Brazilians want to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
In the United States, a Pew Research Center survey in February showed that 30% of the nation’s population did not intend to be vaccinated – a proportion that had reached 49% in September of the previous year.
Immunization rates have plummeted among Americans. After peaking at 4.6 million new doses applied in a single day on April 10, the delivery of new vaccines has steadily declined and today the daily average is below 700,000 doses.
In light of this, Joe Biden’s administration ruled last week that federal officials will need to be vaccinated – anyone who refuses must be tested regularly, wear masks and keep their distance. Following the announcement, which initially only applied to officials, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. military will also need to be vaccinated.
Likewise, the government has asked states and municipalities to use an economic stimulus fund to provide $ 100 to all citizens who get vaccinated.
A similar step has been taken halfway around the world. In Hong Kong, the local government announced Monday (2) that officials and health and education workers who do not want to be vaccinated will have to take two tests per week for the disease and pay for the tests out of pocket.
“While this is a purely personal decision not to get vaccinated and not to help society achieve collective immunity, it is not something a responsible government should allow or condone.” , said Carrie Lam, Managing Director of Hong Kong.
In recent months, businesses in Honcongo have offered benefits to those who get vaccinated and have even created a vaccine lottery, which will draw a million dollar apartment for those who get vaccinated.
Tech companies in the United States, such as Google, Uber, and Facebook, have also made vaccination mandatory for their employees. Last week, the Walt Disney Company and the Walmart grocery chain also announced the requirement for their subcontractors. According to the American press, more than 600 higher education institutions also require their students to be vaccinated so that they can resume face-to-face classes.
For infectologist Raquel Stucchi, professor at Unicamp, the measures are valid because vaccination is, so far, “the only measure we have to try to control the pandemic. After 16 months of living with the Covid-19, we know the trawler well. that it caused in terms of mortality, in addition to the great impact on the world economy, ”he said.
“Both from a public health point of view and from an economic point of view, I think this is very justifiable. Governments have some political difficulties in making vaccination compulsory, as they face resistance from those who do not believe in the vaccine. , and companies can then comply with that. he adds.
See where the compulsory Covid-19 vaccine works in other countries
Mandatory for caregivers of the elderly
Mandatory to access shops, services and schools in some cities, such as Beiliu in the south of the country
Mandatory for military and federal employees; in New York, compulsory to attend commercial establishments; companies like Google, Facebook, Disney and Walmart, in addition to some universities, also require vaccination
Mandatory for healthcare professionals and to enter cinemas, bars, restaurants or public transport, among others
Mandatory for healthcare professionals and caregivers of the elderly
Mandatory for civil servants; those who refuse must pay two tests per week
Mandatory for healthcare professionals
Mandatory for healthcare professionals and to enter cinemas, bars, restaurants, gymnasiums and festivals, among others
Mandatory for caregivers who work from home