Are Vaccine Mandates Necessary to Boost Vaccination Rates?

Most of those getting very sick with COVID-19 at this point are people who have not been vaccinated, but that doesn't seem to be enough to motivate the unvaccinated community

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While COVID cases are going the wrong way, most of those getting very sick are people who have not been vaccinated. Yet that doesn’t seem to be enough of a warning to the unvaccinated community.

“There are still significant numbers of people in our population who for various reasons choose not to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan. “Those are the very groups getting sick and still dying of COVID-19.”

Landrigan, who heads up the program for Global Public Health at Boston College, says one issue is all the misinformation about the vaccine.

“People that deliberately put out that kind of information have blood on their hands,” said Landrigan. “They’re putting out information that’s going to cause people not to get the vaccine, which is going to lead to disease which is going to lead to death.”

Dr. Ranu Dhillon, a global health instructor at Harvard Medical School, says false and fake information on social media is a big part of the problem.

“It’s causing a huge amount of confusion and basically discouraging people from getting the vaccine that could actually be what they need to save their lives,” said Dhillon.

Vaccine requirements -- forcing people to get the vaccine in order to take an airplane flight or enter a nightclub for example -- may be needed.

“I think that can go a long way in providing incentive for people to get vaccinated who are otherwise unwilling to,” said Dhillon.

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