We have been asked numerous times in comments here for UFT presidential candidate Camille Eterno's position on vaccine mandates. Camille was quite clear on CNN last summer that she was in favor of the mandate for school staff.
Camille talked about public safety. She said she was afraid many more people will die. That has happened, unfortunately.
Camille was on CNN before the Omicron wave. The difference in deaths between vaccinated and boosted people as opposed to unvaccinated is huge. We saw this in the email summary of the NY Times sent this morning:
That is not a trivial difference. The Times does some analysis:
The average weekly chance that a boosted person died of Covid was about one in a million during October and November (the most recent available C.D.C. data). Since then, the chances have no doubt been higher, because of the Omicron surge. But they will probably be even lower in coming weeks, because the surge is receding and Omicron is milder than earlier versions of the virus. For now, one in a million per week seems like a reasonable estimate.
That risk is not zero, but it is not far from it. The chance that an average American will die in a car crash this week is significantly higher — about 2.4 per million. So is the average weekly death rate from influenza and pneumonia — about three per million.
Vaccine mandates save people's lives. The vaccines are no longer experimental either as Moderna now has full FDA approval just like Pfizer. While I don't fully agree with the Times that Omcron is milder because it is so much more contagious and US deaths are unacceptably high, mandates will keep more people alive.
Do you really think Camille should change her position based on the accepted sceintific and statistical record?
That said, both of us feel there should be reasonable exemptions and we have helped UFT members who should have been given exemptions but were denied.