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US Surgeon General Supports COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements by Businesses, Schools

Dr. Vivek Murthy says that vaccine mandates are "absolutely reasonable" and will create “a safe environment” for all.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, believes COVID-19 vaccine requirements at businesses, schools and other institutions are an “absolutely reasonable” policy that will create “a safe environment” for all. 

During an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Dr. Murthy encouraged all decision makers in the private sector and educational system to consider enacting such a rule, especially as the country continues to endure yet another wave of outbreaks.

Citing the increased threat from the highly infectious Delta variant — which is now the dominant strain of the virus — Dr. Murthy said he believes vaccine mandates “will help” the US turn the tide in its year-and-a-half battle to bring the pandemic under control.

A growing number of businesses, school districts, cities, government agencies and colleges have implemented mandates in recent weeks, which Dr. Murthy called a “very reasonable” step to take. 

A newly-released Gallup poll found that most workers in the US are in favor of their companies requiring all employees to get vaccinated. Gallup noted that the percentage of people who strongly support requiring shots in the office has increased since its last poll in May.

Dr. Murthy told CNN that he anticipates that the FDA's full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was announced Monday, could motivate millions of vaccine hesitant Americans to get their shots in addition to helping businesses and colleges considering vaccine mandates to “move forward with those kinds of plans.”

As of Tuesday, the US had a 7-day average of 150,625 new cases per day, compared to an average of 10,608 in early July, according to data from The New York Times.

About 170 million Americans (51.5%) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 201 million people (60.7%) have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Unvaccinated people make up the overwhelming majority of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, accounting for almost 95% of reported infections across the US. 

The small share of breakthrough infections reported in those who are fully vaccinated typically resulted in mild symptoms and did not lead to hospitalization or death.

“We've had strong evidence from real-world data that this vaccine has been doing remarkably well and has maintained a strong safety profile," Murthy said on Sunday. "We've given it to hundreds of millions of people and we've seen that it's doing its job."

Last week, federal health officials unveiled a plan to offer booster shots to all Americans after reviewing new data that shows the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines wanes over time.

Murthy defended the booster policy on “This Week” on ABC News Sunday and explained that while the vaccines continue to work, an extra dose will help protect against mild and moderate forms of the disease.

“We are anticipating there may be an erosion in that important protection that we're seeing today down the line,” he said. “And that's why, to stay ahead of this virus, we're recommending that people start to get boosters the week of Sept. 20. It will start with people on their eight-month anniversary following their second shot. And by necessity, it will end up prioritizing those who are at highest risk, including long-term health care workers — long-term care facility residents, rather, health care workers, as well as the elderly.”


Source: Equities News

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