Why Your Employer Can Deny Your ‘Religious’ Vaccine Exemption

"the long-term consequences for religious liberty are what I’m most worried about: that so many of these exemption requests seem mislabeled or disingenuous will invite courts—and the public—to place a tourniquet on religious exemptions generally" - TGC

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WallyMorris's picture

Maybe. Maybe Not. The Supreme Court has ruled that a "religious belief" is a belief that a person holds "religiously". Such a belief may or may not include "God". Whatever a person's opinion on this topic, look for legal challenges on both sides of the issue, with Supreme Court involvement. Side Point: Those Christians who could not vote for Donald Trump because of what they perceived to be ethical/Scriptural concerns are now seeing the result of either not voting or voting for Biden.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

dgszweda's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Maybe. Maybe Not. The Supreme Court has ruled that a "religious belief" is a belief that a person holds "religiously". Such a belief may or may not include "God". Whatever a person's opinion on this topic, look for legal challenges on both sides of the issue, with Supreme Court involvement. Side Point: Those Christians who could not vote for Donald Trump because of what they perceived to be ethical/Scriptural concerns are now seeing the result of either not voting or voting for Biden.

I tend to hold a little more strongly to the individual who has spent much of their career as a religious liberty attorney.  There are limits to religious belief, such as polygamy.  Workplace vaccine mandates, employment vaccine mandates and school vaccine mandates have been around since the very beginning of this nation.  They are not here because of whether someone voted for Biden or not.  For now, I am 100% fine with vaccine mandates and find that much more agreeable than the storming of the capital and the desire to hang the VP of the United States on gallows erected on the Capital lawn.  But hey, that is just me.

I personally don't find any of this an over reach.  The government takes money forcefully out of my paycheck every month and uses it for programs that I neither find Biblical nor do I support.  I am required to obey traffic laws, wear my seatbelts...  I had to get a whole slew of vaccines before attending college last year that were required.  I personally don't believe there is a valid relgious reason not to get the vaccine, but I know others may disagree.

Larry's picture

Moderator

For now, I am 100% fine with vaccine mandates and find that much more agreeable than the storming of the capital and the desire to hang the VP of the United States on gallows erected on the Capital lawn.  But hey, that is just me.

This is a bit confusing. What does storming the capital and desiring to hang the VP have to do with vaccine mandates? Or is that just a gratuitious shot at people who think there may have been an issue in the election?

You have built up a good amount of credibility in your explanations of the vaccine here. This kind of comment undermines that. It is not "just you." The vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of Americans and of Trump supporters agree with you about much of the events of January 6th. In fact, Trump himself agrees with you. Taking a gratuitous shot doesn't help your position or your credibility.

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

For now, I am 100% fine with vaccine mandates and find that much more agreeable than the storming of the capital and the desire to hang the VP of the United States on gallows erected on the Capital lawn.  But hey, that is just me.

This is a bit confusing. What does storming the capital and desiring to hang the VP have to do with vaccine mandates? Or is that just a gratuitious shot at people who think there may have been an issue in the election?

Larry, it was in relation to this comment, "who could not vote for Donald Trump because of what they perceived to be ethical/Scriptural concerns are now seeing the result of either not voting or voting for Biden" in the first post.  I was stating that my concern with Trump was more aggregious than a concern with Biden's vaccine mandate.  Has nothing to do with the vaccine in and of itself.

WallyMorris's picture

Trump encouraged, but did not require, covid vaccinations. Pres Biden is requiring covid vaccinations, and those who refuse are a "problem", with some even suggesting separating the non-vaccinated from the rest of the population. His language and tone of voice raise legitimate concerns. My wife and I chose to receive the Moderna vaccinations. Key Word: "chose". To mandate a vaccine that is statistically safe but does have a higher rate of complications than other vaccines is not the same as other required vaccinations from long-established vaccines. What you now see coming from the Biden administration on a wide range of topics IS the result of either voting for him or not voting at all.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

Larry, it was in relation to this comment, "who could not vote for Donald Trump because of what they perceived to be ethical/Scriptural concerns are now seeing the result of either not voting or voting for Biden" in the first post.  I was stating that my concern with Trump was more aggregious than a concern with Biden's vaccine mandate.  Has nothing to do with the vaccine in and of itself.

The horrendous results of Biden becoming president are only now becoming obvious (including vaccine mandates, which he previously said would not happen, even though those are minor compared to most of what he has done).  Whatever issues you had with Trump, when you voted, your issues did NOT include what happened on January 6th, which was 2 months after the election, and as Larry pointed out, have been decried even by Trump himself as well as the vast majority of those who voted for him.

Dave Barnhart

dgszweda's picture

Lets be very clear.  First, Biden is only proposing a vaccine mandate outside of the federal government.  Second, it is yet to be seen whether this mandate can be implemented through OSHA or if it holds up to legal scrutiny.  Third, many companies were already moving forward with vaccine mandates with or without Biden, and many that had not moved yet, were just waiting for some verbal direction.  

Again, for me, I don't consider the mandate as some kind of horrendous result of Biden becoming president.  I also don't view anything that he has done as that grave yet.  I am doubtful that in the end he will get much accomplished.  And despite all of the grave concerns of electing a pro-abortion president, abortion laws are actually becoming more restrictive.  Taking the path that I have said for the last two years would be taken.

Lastly, January 6th was just the output of all of the terrible things that Trump was already doing.  I know many on here don't have the same view as I have of Trump, but I view Trump as one of the greatest threats to our democracy.  I appreciated some of the stuff that he did, but feel that he is a terribly broken person with a strong narcsistic personality and one that has practically no morals.  I also personally believe that the entire Republican party needs to be gutted.  The vast majority of those who voted for Trump did not decry what happened on January 6th.  In fact nearly half of Republicans felt it was a legitimate protest, and the vast majority of the Republicans in Congress did not see it as something that should have resulted in a reprimand, and it is now coming to light that some even supported the rioters at various strategic levels.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewster/2021/06/17/nearly-half-of-repu...

 

Bert Perry's picture

David, the trick here is that Biden is more or less saying to those who contract with the federal government "nice bidness ya got there....would be a shame if something happened to it."  Everybody knows that the bureaucracy is weaponized against the opponents of the left at this point.  So even if he (as I believe he should) gets slapped into next week by the courts, he gets a lot of what he wants--and as Dave Barnhart notes, specifically contrary to his campaign promises.  

And even worse, he's doing it just as the evidence is getting far stronger that for the majority of the country that doesn't suffer huge consequences from COVID, that natural immunity is far more effective.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

David, it's not "false", but rather "disputed."  Your first link merely says "there are methodological issues with the Israeli study, hence our study is better", but reality is that any reasonably educated person will generally be able to find a methodological issue with any study.  If he can't, you'd better take his pulse!

The second link you provide only compares natural immunity to natural immunity plus vaccine immunity.  More or less, it proves a + b > a if b > 0.  It says nothing about the relative power of natural immunity vs. vaccination.

There are apparently a lot of other studies besides the Israeli study as well--at this point, I don't expect them to be uniform or monolithic, but we really ought to at least honor the ambiguity in the results.  Probably the biggest tragedy in this whole debacle, in my view, is that by speaking emphatically in areas where there's really a lot of doubt, the public health establishment has forfeited public trust that's been built for about a century.   Again, Fauci's lie about masks, his failure to act to protect nursing homes, and now this.  

It's also going to be a huge disaster.  Living near Rochester, I've got a number of friends working at a little clinic you might have heard of, and they're looking at about 2-3% of employees quitting rather than take the vaccine at a time when many employees are already on mandatory OT.  We're talking about a recipe for burnout and even a fair number of injuries from this--both on the patient side and the providers.  Other hospitals of which I'm aware in Michigan and elsewhere are looking into the maw of the same thing.

It's long past time for Fauci to make a series of apologies and resign, and those that replace him need to start the hard process of persuasion.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Living near Rochester, I've got a number of friends working at a little clinic you might have heard of, and they're looking at about 2-3% of employees quitting rather than take the vaccine at a time when many employees are already on mandatory OT.  We're talking about a recipe for burnout and even a fair number of injuries from this--both on the patient side and the providers. 

I live just down the street from the same clinic, but their Jacksonville campus.  My next door neighbor is an anesthesiologist there.  We were talking outside a few weeks ago and he said that they were not requiring vaccines.  You have the option of a vaccine or wearing masks, social distancing, education.  He wasn't aware of any large quitings.

The general consensus at this time is that you should still get a vaccination if you have had COVID.  The biggest reason is that upwards of 30% don't have antibodies after contracting COVID.  Since you have already had COVID, than the vaccine should not be an issue anyway.  COVID is signifantly more dangerous than anything found in the vaccine.

Bert Perry's picture

There's a reason Mayo's not doing vaccine mandates in Florida.  DeSantis signed legislation banning passports in May, and a bill to ban mandates altogether is in the works.  So they're caught between Biden's executive order and Florida state law.  No matter what, they end up in court if one of those they ignore decides to sue.

Which means the impact in Rochester is going to be even more horrendous, as it's a bigger portion of employees there, then.  I know personally two people who have already left as a result--I don't agree with their decision, but they're leaving.  I also know a nurse manager who's pushing 65 hours per week trying to hold things together, nurses are on mandatory OT, and a pathologist friends notes that the residents are needing to look at test results late into the night because the lab crew is so overworked.  An additional 2-4% hit in head count will be killer.

I'm not against the vaccines, and got the J&J last April.  I'd consider getting a booster if it's recommended for me.  I just think that trying to mandate them is a horrendously bad idea that only deepens well-earned distrust of Dr. Fauci and the public health system.  More or less, "Well, due to a clear pattern of lying here, you're not trusting us, so we're going to threaten you with impoverishment instead of apologizing and trying to persuade you."  It's the Vito Corleone method of public relations, really.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

I just think that trying to mandate them is a horrendously bad idea that only deepens well-earned distrust of Dr. Fauci and the public health system.  More or less, "Well, due to a clear pattern of lying here, you're not trusting us, so we're going to threaten you with impoverishment instead of apologizing and trying to persuade you."  It's the Vito Corleone method of public relations, really.

But, what I struggle with is, how is the mandate any different for healthcare workers, than the vaccines already mandated for healthcare workers.  The idea of mandating vaccines for healthcare workers is nothing new, is built into the culture of the job and has been going on for decades.  And I believe the only exemptions are for medical reasons (at least that was what it used to be).  A very small minority are refusing it (anywhere from 1% to 5%), and a lot of times they are for bizarre reasons.  The top reasons that I have heard cited for why healthcare workers are refusing the COVID vaccine are:

  • Research was done too quickly
  • It wasn't fully approved by the FDA
  • They already have antibodies 
  • It affects fertility

All of these are have been scientifically proven not to be a issue.  Other vaccines that healthcare workers are required to take have significant warnings on them as well.  So I kind of scratch my head on this one.

Bert Perry's picture

David, you may disagree on some of the particulars here, but my take is that the conduct of health authorities (like Dr. Fauci) has been so bad, that people don't trust them when they say what you note here.  If you're not trusted, you cannot do a top down imposition of a mandate without incredible pushback.  If Fauci wants to enhance vaccination rates, he's got to admit some of his lies and egregious errors and resign.  There will be some who, regrettably, see that as endorsement of the nonsense artists out there.

More or less, if they're not able & willing to read the technical papers and figure out what they actually mean, the major issue is trust.  It's been lost.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

I find the right wants to throw Fauci under the bus all the time.  And paint him as the scapegoat.  And while he hasn't been perfect, I don't think he is way off the mark on a once in a lifetime, ever changing pandemic.  I think his biggest issue is that he is just too much in the news.

With that said, why is the right putting all of this importance on Fauci.  Forget Fauci, have a discussion with your primary care physician.  If you don't like the politics of America, than listen to Emer Cooke of the EMA.  Read the literature.  Many of the people who are really mad at Fauci, or just going the way of other crazy people and notions.  I personally don't know why a single sane person would want to be associated with anything political.  I wouldn't have made it as long as Fauci.  No matter what he says, you have an entire machine and industry that is doing nothing but tearing him apart, finding any little sentence they can, haul him in front of Congress and then grill him.  I wonder how successful any of us would be in our jobs if half of the leadership of the company was recording everything we said at work/meetings/emails and then having a group of consultants dig through it to find inconsistencies, improper approaches.....  I don't know about you but I would quit.  This is the cycle of politics in the last few years.  The Republicans were for vaccinations and created an amazing model to accelerate it.  The Democrats were saying that they weren't going to take it, and that there would be investigations.  Then as soon as Biden became president.  The Republicans are calling vaccines crazy and refusing vaccines and the Democrats are all for it.  Just crazy.

Larry's picture

Moderator

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reiterated on Monday that federal law requires employers to consider requests for religious accommodation — but that it does not have to grant those requests if doing so would present an undue hardship.

What evidence is that there granting exemptions would present an undue hardship? The undue hardship clause is not for something you bring on yourself which is what this is. The last 18 months have taught us that unvaccinated people aren't an undue hardship on business. On the contrary, the undue hardship might well result from refusing to grant them. What might be a mass exodus of workers would stress already thin workforces.

It seems to me that, at some point, common sense and practicality should take precedence over politics. Remember, all these people worked for the last 18 months without being vaccinated, but all of a sudden, it is required or you can't work? Nothing in actuality changed except the availability of a vaccine. Those who worked long and hard without a vaccine are now being told they can't work long and hard without a vaccine. 

So what's the real fear?

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

So what's the real fear?

From a business perspective?  Liability.  From a political perspective?  Fallout that would hurt your chance of getting re-elected.

What are we looking at in our business when we think of undue hardship?  We are looking at what things we need to put in place to accommodate those who do not want to get vaccinated, in order to protect those who may have health conditions that make it a risk to be around an unvaccinated person who may not have antibodies or who are asymptomatic.  Regardless of science, it is about perception and liability.  So if we have an office that has 2,000 people, and if 5% are resistant to getting a vaccine, that is 100 people.  How do we ensure that we are following guidelines to ensure those 100 people are not a risk to the 1,900?  Regardless of science, and politics..... we are looking at potential liability problems as well as how do you not discriminate....

Larry's picture

Moderator

From a political perspective?  Fallout that would hurt your chance of getting re-elected.

This might sum it up. 

What are we looking at in our business when we think of undue hardship?

I think what matters here is what the law says an "undue hardship" is rather than what a business says it is. The EEOC says a hardship defense "requires a showing that the proposed accommodation in a particular case poses a “more than de minimis” cost or burden." I doubt liability falls into that category, or even uncertainty about getting sick. It would be interesting to see, but that could open the door to all sorts of things. 

Regardless of science, it is about perception and liability.

I think this is key. It is about perception. I doubt any employer is seriously worried about it from a medical perspective. I doubt many employees are, particularly at this stage of the game. It is about perception.

Ken S's picture

Larry wrote:

What evidence is that there granting exemptions would present an undue hardship? The undue hardship clause is not for something you bring on yourself which is what this is. The last 18 months have taught us that unvaccinated people aren't an undue hardship on business. On the contrary, the undue hardship might well result from refusing to grant them. What might be a mass exodus of workers would stress already thin workforces.

It seems to me that, at some point, common sense and practicality should take precedence over politics. Remember, all these people worked for the last 18 months without being vaccinated, but all of a sudden, it is required or you can't work? Nothing in actuality changed except the availability of a vaccine. Those who worked long and hard without a vaccine are now being told they can't work long and hard without a vaccine. 

So what's the real fear?

I am part of the management team of a small company, and we are in the process of having to work through this. We've tried to have a policy of following the CDC's recommendations and guidelines rather than setting our own, for liability purposes. When it comes to mandating a vaccine, we have tried to avoid that. Right now we are requiring those who are not vaccinated to take a weekly test that we pay for.

However, we are a service company and have about 13 service techs and installers who are traveling to customer sites an a daily basis. We cover a tri-state area serving mostly pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and laboratories. For the last few weeks we've been getting 3-4 notices a week from our customers regarding vaccination requirements for techs to be onsite. So far we've been able to work around this with our unvaccinated techs by dispatching them to other locations, but we are at the tipping point where it is simply not logistically feasible to reorganize routes this way. We also lose unvaccinated techs to quarantine more frequently since the CDC has more stringent quarantine requirements for unvaccinated. We are short on techs as it is, and it's very difficult to continue losing them to quarantine. Our revenue goes down and our customers who can't get timely service are unhappy. We are able to accommodate a religious exemption for all our other positions, but may not be able to do that for service techs as at this rate the logistics and customer requirements will soon be insurmountable.

dgszweda's picture

Ken S wrote:

We are able to accommodate a religious exemption for all our other positions, but may not be able to do that for service techs as at this rate the logistics and customer requirements will soon be insurmountable.

Larry,

What Ken is facing, as stated above in terms of accommodation is greater than “more than de minimis”.  The Supreme Court has held a low threshold for this.  What Ken is outlining is what most companies are going through right now.  Remain open, but avoid liability.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Ken, That is more than de minimus for sure so no accommodation is required. So what's the next step? 

When your techs quit, you can't send them out. Then your clients complain. And you say, "We have no techs to send you because you required vaccination. You were entitled to do that, but that means your service request will be scheduled for March of 2022. If you would like an unvaccinated tech, I can have one there in two weeks. What would you like to do?"

It seems like the bigger picture is one of practicality. When you require something people aren't willing to do, then people quit and you lose your business. This is happening with medical staff, fire, police, teachers, etc. 

At some point, it seems like common sense should kick in. Sure, maybe it would be good to be vaccinated, but at what cost? Perhaps the political pressure is so great that common sense is avoided. We talk about hospital and medical staff being overworked. And then institute policies that lower the number of available workers in spite of the fact that the last 18 months have been "the old way."

Ken S's picture

Larry wrote:

Ken, That is more than de minimus for sure so no accommodation is required. So what's the next step? 

When your techs quit, you can't send them out. Then your clients complain. And you say, "We have no techs to send you because you required vaccination. You were entitled to do that, but that means your service request will be scheduled for March of 2022. If you would like an unvaccinated tech, I can have one there in two weeks. What would you like to do?"

It seems like the bigger picture is one of practicality. When you require something people aren't willing to do, then people quit and you lose your business. This is happening with medical staff, fire, police, teachers, etc. 

At some point, it seems like common sense should kick in. Sure, maybe it would be good to be vaccinated, but at what cost? Perhaps the political pressure is so great that common sense is avoided. We talk about hospital and medical staff being overworked. And then institute policies that lower the number of available workers in spite of the fact that the last 18 months have been "the old way."

You're absolutely right about the practical implications. It's likely before this is over that we will lose some of our techs. We are already feeling the "loss" of the unvaccinated techs because they can't go to a growing portion of our customers and they can't be on call. It causes an increased workload to our vaccinated techs, and hopefully we don't lose some of them to burnout.

On the other hand, I don't know how this is to be avoided. There is no way a large pharmaceutical company like Merck is going to operate without a vaccination policy. They are all about liability and are going to cover themselves with a pretty stringent policy. In some cases, they are even more strict with their vendors since they don't legally have to provide a religious/medical exemption for a vendor. They can just find a new vendor. My company actually gets audited by many of our customers, and they can demand that we put policies and procedures in place that they feel we should have. We can refuse and risk losing the customer. So it's a tough position for my company to be in all the way around.

Larry's picture

Moderator

On the other hand, I don't know how this is to be avoided. There is no way a large pharmaceutical company like Merck is going to operate without a vaccination policy.

I think there is an easy way for this to be avoided: Do what they did from March of 2020 until Sept of 2021. 

Is it more liability? Perhaps but perhaps not. We have already done it and have a proven track record that people and companies who take precautions without vaccinations are very unlikely to spread it. So why isn't that good enough? Is is not the politics of perception, not reality?

Think about the medical field: These "heroes" worked from March 2020 until Sept 2021 without a vaccination. They showed up every day taking a small risk (and it was small because of the protections they had). Now they are told that they can't do the very same thing they were asked to do for 18 months. Why? Isn't it politics? Not D vs. R politics, but as Dave said, the appearance and perception of it. 

Think about the employees in this case. They are willing to say, "I am not going to get it. I will find another job." So you lose them. Was that worth it? Now a company has to find someone else, train them, get them onboarded, and hope they don't leave you. 

What if your company told the client, "We are not requiring vaccinations. We are taking precautions and will continue to service you like we have for the past year and a half." Yes, your client could go somewhere else and try to start a new business relationship. But maybe the have a hard time finding something. And what if that new company said, "We are not requiring vaccinations. We are taking precuations and will service you just like we have others for the past year and a half." 

What if you put it back on them and said, "How many people at your company got sick from our employees?" It is likely the answer is zero. But people aren't thinking about that. It is about the politics of perception.

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

What if you put it back on them and said, "How many people at your company got sick from our employees?" It is likely the answer is zero. But people aren't thinking about that. It is about the politics of perception.

I don't think many people are looking at this from the right perspective.  First, the true resisters are a small number of people.  It is anywhere from 3%-8% of workers who will refuse, under any circumstance to get vaccinated.  The vast majority do not have any problems with the vaccine mandate.  Second, this is a large machine.  Just like Ken said, it isn't just up to him, but he is a supplier to companies much larger.  So even if a company wanted to resist this, they may find out that there is no business left.  You as a company can try to resist, but they will just move to another supplier who is willing to take on the business.  Third, you can't just go back to someone like Merck and counter an argument.  These decisions are done at the Executive committee level and the Board level.  The individual that you would be interfacing with, is some employee in procurement, who is about 15 levels below the CEO and just needs to follow the mandate.

Some companies will loose people.  No one wants to loose 3% to 5% of a certain employee pool, but in the end it is manageable, and if you don't find another way, someone else will take your business.  The problem is that you have a small minority of resisters to the vaccine who are trying to argue various reasons why getting a vaccine is not the best solution, and to be honest, that ship has sailed.  The big companies don't really care about the reason.  They find the liability to get the vaccine significantly less than not getting the vaccine.  Now that they are moving forward, all of the smaller companies will increasingly feel the pressure to get onboard or potentially loose business, or worse be forced to close.

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, one thing to note here is that a large number of medical staff did indeed get vaccinated not in September, but rather around January--including my daughter and her husband--and around the same time, COVID infection and death rates plunged super strongly, much more strongly and deeply than the current decline.

Now of course, post hoc non est propter hoc (afterwards is not because) and all that, but we might wonder whether a key transmission channel was indeed the medical establishment, and whether the virus at the time was especially stopped.

Now?  Well, the Lancet just published a study that showed 38% of unvaccinated people exposed to "Delta" got it, and 25% of vaccinated.  I'm not sure which vaccination, how much other "jabs" help vs. Delta, and all that, but the long and short of it is that "breakthrough" infections seem to be gaining steam.  My last look at NBC's # of cases suggests another wave of infections is coming as well.

We might suggest a dose of humility on the part of public health authorities regarding vaccine mandates might be in order.  Reality is that for the past half century, apart from tetanus boosters and flu shots, adults have not been used to getting jabs, let alone mandatory ones, and a sane public health response ought to acknowledge that--that adults are going to need to be persuaded, not bullied, into getting the jabs. 

It's also going to require that public health authorities admit their mistakes and even (again, Fauci on face masks) flat out lies.  I don't think that many people are troubled by the fact that people make mistakes, but they do get really resistant when there are obvious screw-ups (again, COVID patients to nursing homes?  Really?) without any apology or repentance.  Psychologically, if you have huge screw-ups without repentance, people start thinking "huh, maybe those conspiracy theorists have a point after all...."

I'm not among the conspiratorialists, and just today I rebuked a friend from church for sending "bovine scat" (to put it very politely) around on Facebook, but at a certain point, the public health establishment needs to understand that the public hears from them a LOT, from their doctors a LITTLE, and hence if there's someone to blame for the public not being persuaded, there you go.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I don't think many people are looking at this from the right perspective.

True. But how so? Perhaps the Freakonomics view--the counterintuitive one is the correct one. Or perhaps the view that we were told all along. And again, I am generally in favor of the vaccine. What I am opposed to, generally speaking, is the mandate.

First, the true resisters are a small number of people.  It is anywhere from 3%-8% of workers who will refuse, under any circumstance to get vaccinated.

We were told that "herd immunity" is 70% or so (don't remember the exact number). Whatever the case, if only 3-8% is refusing, we are well north of 90%. Again, it seems to be a case of the government changing its position midstream.

Second, this is a large machine.  Just like Ken said, it isn't just up to him, but he is a supplier to companies much larger.  So even if a company wanted to resist this, they may find out that there is no business left.  You as a company can try to resist, but they will just move to another supplier who is willing to take on the business. 

If there is another company who can take the business. What happens when there isn't one? What happens when you can't staff an ER? Or an OR? Or a school? It's one thing if your widget making machine goes down and you can't make widgets for a while. It's another thing when people's lives are threatened because you instituted a mandate that left certain positions unfilled. 

Furthemore, if 90% of the workforce is vaccinated, this really isn't a problem anyway. Remember, we have 18 months of history and knowledge and the sky didn't fall.

Third, you can't just go back to someone like Merck and counter an argument.  These decisions are done at the Executive committee level and the Board level.  The individual that you would be interfacing with, is some employee in procurement, who is about 15 levels below the CEO and just needs to follow the mandate.

But when that procurement individual passes it up on the chain that he or she can't procure anything, it will get attention at some level. Or when the new supplier says, "I can have someone there in March to fix it," it will get somebody's attention.

Now that they are moving forward, all of the smaller companies will increasingly feel the pressure to get onboard or potentially loose business, or worse be forced to close.

I think this might be the most frightening thing of all that comes out of this. 

Larry's picture

Moderator

Larry, one thing to note here is that a large number of medical staff did indeed get vaccinated not in September, but rather around January--including my daughter and her husband--and around the same time, COVID infection and death rates plunged super strongly, much more strongly and deeply than the current decline.

True on the vaccines, but all the way back last summer (prior to the vaccine) we were told what would happen over the winter and it happened. 

Now of course, post hoc non est propter hoc (afterwards is not because) and all that, but we might wonder whether a key transmission channel was indeed the medical establishment, and whether the virus at the time was especially stopped.

I have never seen any such suggestion so wondering seems quite futile. My guess is that someone wondered and found out that it wasn't the case. Surely if some significant level of transmission was coming from the medical establishment, we would have known about it.

Of course, I think it is almost universally agreed, or at least widely agreed, that the shut-downs did very little. Can't unring that bell now, unfortunately.

You are correct that persuasion will work far better than force. 

Bert Perry's picture

....no doubt, but if I see the steepest decline in infections and death seen yet in this epidemic when group A is vaccinated, I'm going to wonder whether Group A is the group that was the most likely to transmit the disease.  

Can you prove it either way?  Not given the wide range of likelihoods in predicting the course of the disease, but I would dare say that in light of many hospitals' claims "oh, we've never had it proven that a case originated here," the steep decline in cases and deaths after their employees were (mostly) vaccinated ought to induce a little bit of humility.  it's not for no reason, after all, that it's said that the best place to catch many infectious diseases is....in the hospital.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.