American Medical Association Urges Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, American Medical Association (AMA)

The American Medical Association (AMA) is urging the public and private sectors to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, saying the move is key to getting the year-and-a-half long pandemic under control. 

On Tuesday, the country’s leading doctor group pointed out that recent efforts to incentivize vaccinations by offering cash, prizes, scholarships and other perks have not achieved the high vaccination rates needed to tame the highly-contagious Delta variant and that mandates are the best way forward

“The simple fact is unless a significant percentage of our population is vaccinated against COVID-19 — we could be stuck fighting this virus for many more months or even years to come,” AMA president Gerald Harmon said. “Now is the time for the public and private sectors to come together, listen to the science and mandate vaccination.”

As of Wednesday, only 171 million Americans (51.6%) have been fully vaccinated, while 202 million people (60.7%) have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
“These incentives have not gotten us where we need to be," Harmon said. "With the highly transmissible and more virulent delta variant wreaking havoc and emergency departments once again overwhelmed, physicians and all front-line health care workers need help."

“The way to regain the upper hand in this fight is requiring vaccinations — specifically vaccine mandates.”

The AMA’s call came a day after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine — one of three that are authorized for emergency use in the country — for people age 16 or older.

Public health officials believe the approval could push millions of vaccine skeptics across the US to go out and get their shots, as well as lead more businesses, schools, cities and other institutions to move forward with vaccine mandates.   

In remarks Monday, President Joe Biden similarly emphasized the need to vaccinate Americans more quickly to save lives, noting that such requirements are not new

“Today I’m calling on more companies in the private sector to step up the vaccine requirements that’ll reach millions of more people,” Biden said. “If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that.”

“Do what I did last month and require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements,” said Biden. 

“And as I said last week, vaccination requirements have been around for decades.  Students, healthcare professionals, our troops are typically required to receive vaccination to prevent everything from polio to smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella,” the president added.

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