ANOTHER VIEW: Private company vaccine mandates may pose challenges | Opinion



Tyson Foods, a national company with a large local footprint here in Enid, has announced that it will require all of its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming one of the country’s first major employers of frontline workers to to do.

THE COMPANY TAKES a hard line, saying that the vaccine requirement is necessary to overcome the persistent reluctance to get vaccinated. The company offers financial incentives to employees to encourage them to get vaccinated. Here in Enid, Tyson has organized several vaccination campaigns. Yet CEO Donnie King said that even after spending months encouraging employees to get vaccinated, less than half of employees are.

Tyson follows other large companies that are instituting vaccination requirements for their employees, some more drastic than others. Many large companies, especially production companies like Tyson, saw massive outbreaks in their ranks at the start of the COVID pandemic. Over the past year, large outbreaks at large companies shut down production lines across the country and around the world.

There are many reasons why private companies would make the vaccine mandatory; however, they are controversial. NBC reports that a recent survey by data intelligence firm Morning Consult found that 3 in 5 American adults who responded would support immunization requirements. But those who were likely to support him said they were already vaccinated and identified as Democrats, while those unlikely to support him were unvaccinated and Republicans. However, while 49% of Republicans said they would not support a vaccination mandate, 38% said they would.

FROM AFAR, vaccines have been largely successful in reducing the spread of infection. Yes, there are breakthrough cases with the delta variant, but the majority of those cases appear to be much less critical than when the unvaccinated have been infected. Yet the vaccines have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration; they are under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) only at this time.

While vaccine mandates by private companies will remain controversial and likely lead to legal challenges, private mandates are preferable to a widespread government mandate for COVID vaccine, at least for now. We hope to see businesses and government agencies continue their efforts to educate and incentivize their employees.

Enid, Enid, Oklahoma news

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