Opinion | Using Mandates to Overcome Vaccine Resistance

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To the Editor:

Re “Mandates on Way as Pfizer Vaccine Gets Full U.S. Nod” (front page, Aug. 24):

The full approval of the Pfizer vaccine will not significantly alter the resistance of anti-vaxxers. Their resistance is not based on knowledge.

The only action that will engage them to become vaccinated is mandates. The time has passed to accept individual repeated Covid-19 testing in lieu of vaccination. We must require vaccinations for all students over 12 and teachers in all educational institutions, all federal and state employees, passengers on buses, railroads and airplanes, hospital employees as well as those in private industry by Oct. 31.

Only with mandated vaccination in place nationally can we tame the Delta variant.

Sidney Weissman
Chicago
The writer is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

To the Editor:

Re “Venom of Political and Culture Battles Seeps Into School Halls” (front page, Aug. 20):

It’s long past time for the press, including The Times, to stop referring to the battles over mask mandates as a conflict between “collective responsibility versus personal liberty.” Those of us who support mask and vaccination mandates value personal liberty just as much as those who don’t; we just value the freedom to occupy a public space without being exposed to a potentially deadly virus.

Opposition to mandates is not about “liberty.” It’s about being able to do whatever one pleases, regardless of the consequences for anyone else. This position should be described as what it is: irresponsible and selfish.

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