A growing number of public and private employers are mandating employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administrator (FDA) granted full approval for one of the vaccines, the one made by Pfizer-BioNTech.
Like the vaccines developed by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, now labeled Comirnaty, originally received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA. The other two drugmakers have also applied for full approval.
FDA’s stamp of approval for Comirnaty comes at a time when approximately 60 percent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, according to federal data. The move coincides with growing anxiety over the spread of the Delta variant. It was the fastest approval of a vaccine by any Western government and appeared to confirm media reports that the Biden administration was pressuring the FDA to speed up the approval process and make the announcement before Labor Day.
Vaccine or Your Job
Within hours of the announcement, the Pentagon said it would require all 1.3 million people serving in the military to be inoculated. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) quickly decreed that the city’s 148,000 public school teachers and staffers would be required to get the shot. In the private sector, Chevron is requiring some of its employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and is evaluating mandates throughout its entire workforce, joining CVS Health, Deloitte, and Walt Disney Co. in expanding vaccine requirements to their employees.
Google, United Airlines, Tyson Foods are telling workers they will need to get vaccinated or face termination. Delta Airlines is requiring its employees to get vaccinated or face the alternative of weekly testing and a $200 surcharge on their monthly health insurance. Movie theaters, concerts, universities, sporting events, and other places where people gather may also require proof of vaccination (vaccine passports).
The Vaccinated to Blame?
The measures are being taken in accordance with the prevailing narrative that the unvaccinated are the ones behind the Delta variant’s spread (see related article, page one). This appears to be the only explanation federal health officials have for the Delta variant’s rapid progress, a development that caught them off guard. Adding further confusion are “breakout” cases, in which some people who have been fully vaccinated, come down with the coronavirus.
One prominent physician, an outspoken critic of the public-health establishment’s response to COVID-19, believes the problem isn’t the unvaccinated, it’s the vaccinated. Peter McCullough, M.D., a Texas-based cardiologist, internist, and epidemiologist, and medical advisor to Truth for Health Foundation notes that the vaccinated “not only can become ill with COVID-19 in the setting of vaccine failure, but they can also carry the virus in very high viral loads in the early symptomatic phase and, in this context, can become individual super-spreaders.”
”So indeed, we are in a crisis of the vaccinated, who directionally have lower rates of COVID-19 illness but are passing it to unvaccinated victims who develop the syndrome,” McCullough explains in lumen-news.com.
While the Delta variant’s mortality rates in the U.S. remain low, the outbreak is a reflection of a crisis that “has been self-created and self-imposed,” McCullough observes. He faults public-health bureaucracies for relying exclusively on vaccines to combat COVID-19 while ignoring the early treatment of the disease.
Regarding the effectiveness of the vaccines, McCullough points to an August 18 statement by officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In that statement, HHS cited “evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease” among those who had been vaccinated, “especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phase of the vaccine rollout. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.”
On the same day as the HHS statement, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky also expressed doubts about the vaccines’ long-term effectiveness. “We are seeing concerning evidence of vaccine effectiveness over time and against the Delta variant,” she said.
Israel, which has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world, is also reporting decreased effectiveness of mRNA vaccines, which have been championed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and other representatives of the public.
“It now appears our current vaccines are likely to offer a mere 180-day window of protection – a decided lack of durability …,” Robert W. Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccine and Peter K. Navarro, who helped launch Operation Warp Speed for the Trump Administration, write in the Washington Times. Noting that the public is already being warned about the need for universal booster shots at 6-month intervals, they point to the danger of a vaccine arms race.
FDA Fast Action
FDA has long been criticized for its slow pace in approving new drugs. But its relatively quick approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (with applications pending from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) has raised suspicions that corners may have been cut.
“Expediting the process appears only to serve the political purpose of imposing and enforcing vaccine mandates,” wrote Sen. Ron Johnson (R – WI) in an August 22 letter to the nation’s top health officials.
“One thing is crystal clear about the FDA’s approval: By ignoring the usual input of the advisory committee, the approval is more of a political than a medical decision,” said Joel Hirschhorn, author of Pandemic Blunder and a widely published medical journalist. “Moreover, giving the company time to conduct necessary studies, also confirms the many concerns about the vaccine’s safety. These studies should have been done before approval was granted.”
As for the legality of employer-mandated vaccinations, Liberty Counsel points out that shots “cannot be mandatory under Title VII” of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “In general, employee vaccine religious exemption requests must be accommodated, where a reasonable accommodation exists without undue hardship to the employer …” wrote Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman.
Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D., (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.