COVID vaccines have saved thousands of lives. It is a scientifically and statistically based assertion with no possible answer no matter how much the noisy conspiracists continue to flood social networks with all kinds of crazy theories where half-truths, minority cases that are presented as general and the most shameful direct lies are added in the search for disinformation.

To understand the effects of vaccines you only have to read the spectacular drop in the number of deaths in countries like Spain where the vaccination program is progressing at a good pace, check the drop in severity in the prognosis of those admitted to hospitals or the current very low mortality of patients who go to the ICU. Or take a tour of nursing homes to see the change from the worst moments of the pandemic in 2020 where we had to mourn the death of our parents/grandparents without giving them a decent burial.

Of course, those of us vaccinated have also had our fears about possible adverse reactions of these vaccines in the body (which they have like any other medicine you take) and some of us have had various symptoms after them, but the serious cases or deaths have been absolutely minority of 0.0001%.

With data updated this week, the doses administered exceed 3.97 billion injections and 27% of the world’s population has already been vaccinated with at least one dose, according to data from Our World in Data. However, with a big difference between continents and countries that should be addressed because the pandemic (and the fight against it) is global. And it is morally unacceptable that less developed countries are left out of this immunization.

In summary (and in my opinion, because it is difficult to leave it out in these matters), the vaccines against COVID are closing the most serious global health and economic emergency of this century, after a race against the clock and an unprecedented planetary effort in research and development of this type of drugs. And we say all this to assess an important information that comes from Google and that aims to tackle what they call “the pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

vacunas contra el COVID

COVID vaccines: mandatory on Google

In an email sent to the more than 130,000 Google employees worldwide, CEO Sundar Pichai <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>has announced the company’s plans for the return to physical offices from October 18. A strategy that has already been proposed by others like Apple, but with hybrid work models for a new world that leaves behind the COVID-19 where teleworking (mandatory for the last 15 months) will continue to have a great relevance.

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The big news of the announcement is that Google has become the first major technology company that will force all employees who have to go to physical offices to be vaccinated. The requirement will first be imposed at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, and other U.S. offices, before being rolled out to the more than 40 countries in which Google operates.

Google’s vaccination mandate will be adjusted to comply with the laws and regulations in each location, Pichai wrote, and exceptions will be made for medical and other “protected” reasons. “Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways we can keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the coming months,” the Google chief executive explained.

Several government agencies have already announced measures to have all their employees mandatorily vaccinated, but the corporate world has so far been taking a more measured approach, even though most lawyers in the United States believe these measures are legal, once the country’s Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines under an emergency order.

The majority opinion among health care providers is clear: This is the right thing to do, because otherwise we’re putting workers and their families at risk,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a professor of public health at George Washington University and former Baltimore City health commissioner. It’s not fair for workers to be expected to return to offices and sit shoulder-to-shoulder with unvaccinated people who could be carrying a potentially deadly virus.” Because children under 12 are not currently eligible for vaccination, parents could bring the virus home to them from the office if they are around unvaccinated colleagues, he said.

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Other companies such as Delta and United airlines require new employees to show proof of vaccination, while others such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley require employees to disclose their vaccination status, but do not (at this time) require employees to be vaccinated. All indications are that this will change in the future and mandatory measures will become more and more prevalent. We’ll see what the response to Google’s announcement is.

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Mandatory vaccination in the U.S.?

Google’s decision comes on the heels of similar measures affecting hundreds of thousands of government workers in the states of California and New York as part of intensified measures to combat the delta variant. President Joe Biden himself is considering forcing all federal government workers to be vaccinated. And the issue is serious, because failure to respond will result in disciplinary action or dismissal.

The rapid increase in cases over the past month has prompted more public health officials to urge governments to put stricter measures in place to help overcome skepticism and misinformation about vaccines, a program that has taken a major hit in the United States.

In Europe, vaccination programs continue to develop at a good pace and fewer people have refused to be vaccinated. Although we do not have news of measures as general and extreme as those in the US, countries like France or Italy have restricted access to some activities for those who are not vaccinated. More and more voices are calling for the Green Digital Certificate, the “health passport” proposed by the European Commission, to become more than a voluntary document to exercise the right to free movement.

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There is no doubt that compulsory vaccination is a controversial issue, and there are legal questions to be resolved. In my humble opinion, the bet should have been for a powerful public/health education campaign to show the benefits of vaccination programs and the lack of alternatives to get out of the pandemic. And not having to force anyone to get vaccinated, but the measures are already there and are being studied by all governments in the world.

What do you think about Google’s decision? Do you think that vaccination should be forced? Is it legal even in a global health emergency? Is it the only way to overcome the pandemic of the unvaccinated and end this crisis? Are there other alternatives?