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Dr. Fauci finally said it – COVID vaccines might be mandatory for some people

Published Jan 2nd, 2021 3:05PM EST
Coronavirus vaccine
Image: Kevin Dietsch - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks there are some specific circumstances in which certain people will be required to get the coronavirus vaccine.
  • Dr. Fauci said in a new interview that he wouldn’t be surprised to see schools, as well as travel-related companies, mandate coronavirus vaccines in the near future.
  • According to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, a little more than 3 million COVID vaccines have been administered in the US as of the time of this writing.

Most of the farewells to 2020 that you’ve no doubt seen by now, along with all the commentary about how much better 2021 will hopefully be, rely on one major thing coming to fruition this year. On pretty much a global basis, everyone has their fingers crossed that this will be a better year as a direct consequence of the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine to as many people as possible.

Indeed, the vaccines from drug makers like Pfizer and Moderna can’t come soon enough for the people who haven’t gotten the jab yet. According to calculations from CNBC, the US is recording at least 181,998 new coronavirus cases every day, along with at least 2,313 virus-related deaths, based on a seven-day average of data collected by Johns Hopkins University. However, the same way that much of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020 was a combination of half-baked, misguided, and counterproductive, the rollout of vaccines in the US thus far has been extraordinarily slow. So far, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, a little more than 3 million vaccine doses have been administered in the US. Compare that to the fact that 20 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US thus far, which helps explain why White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci just made an important prediction about the ongoing vaccination campaign.

In an interview with Newsweek, Dr. Fauci speculated that there will probably be some instances where getting the COVID vaccine might be required for certain people, such as those who are traveling. “Everything will be on the table for discussion,” Dr. Fauci, who will be a key medical adviser within the incoming Biden-Harris administration, told the magazine. And here’s at least one key point about that to understand:

“I’m not sure (the COVID vaccine is) going to be mandatory from a central government standpoint, like federal government mandates,” he said — adding that there are certainly institutions, instead, that will likely require people to get vaccinated, like schools and travel-related entities. Of that, Dr. Fauci is already “sure.”

Likewise, Dr. Fauci expects school systems to require the COVID vaccine, though that mandate wouldn’t come from the federal level. “A citywide school system might require it in some cities but not other cities, and that’s what I mean by things not being done centrally but locally,” he said.

Talk of a requirement of any kind when it comes to the vaccine will no doubt be met with a wave of opposition. Even now, a number of polls like this one have produced similar results: In October, for example, a survey by the American Nurses Association found that one-third of 13,000 nurses said they wouldn’t voluntarily take the coronavirus vaccine.

For those and other reasons, Dr. Fauci also lamented during an appearance on NBC’s TODAY show this week that the US still has quite a long way to go in terms of coronavirus vaccination efforts. “We would have liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses into people today by the end of the 2020, which was the projection,” he said. “Obviously, it didn’t happen, and that’s disappointing.

“There really has to be a lot more effort in the sense of resources for the locals, namely, the states, the cities, the counties, the places where the vaccine is actually going into the arms of individuals.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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