Earlier this week, I described the absurd simultaneous acceptance of monoclonal antibody therapy and distrust of the COVID-19 vaccines and the sharp partisan divide in South Dakota, in which Republicans think vitamins are more effective against COVID-19 than masking or vaccination.
The reality voters and elected officials must confront is that too many people have demonstrated that they are incapable of making a sensible decision about vaccination. It does not matter why they make that decision. At this point, their beliefs–or our opinions on those beliefs–do not matter, because they do not matter to the virus.
Add to this the overwhelming amount of data–2.5 billion doses given and rising–that the vaccines are both safe and effective, and the conclusion is obvious: we need vaccination requirements for many activities. Like it or not, we have bumped up against the de facto limits of convincing people to be vaccinated. Having followed anti-vaccinationists for years, if the MMR vaccine for children were not required for school, I would be shocked if even 75% of kids would be vaccinated; while 75% seems like a lot, but that wouldn’t be high enough to limit the rare outbreaks we do have. Requirements are effective and necessary.
While it is clear Republicans won’t do anything, Democrats could (so we’re clear, many, but not all, requirements will have to be enacted at the state and local levels). Democrats will have to behave counter to form, and pass these requirements. Unfortunately, it’s not clear if most Democrats have the courage of their convictions, even though there are few issues where the right policy is so obvious.
Requirements do work, we already have them, and they would get more people vaccinated.
The question is if Democrats–because Republicans are lost on this–will enact them.