Officials announced Monday that California state employees and health care workers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or submit to weekly testing. Some experts are applauding the move.
"I think it’s about time," said USC virologist Paula Cannon.
Cannon said efforts to improve vaccine access and incentives aren't encouraging enough people to get jabbed.
“Now is a very appropriate time for the state to be taking these additional measures with the rapid, rapid rise in cases we’re seeing in unvaccinated individuals due to COVID variant Delta.”
With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading through Los Angeles County, health officials think a mandate might be necessary for improving vaccination rates.
“We’ve tried our best to convince the un-convinceable to do the right thing, and it hasn’t worked much of the time,” said Dr. Peter Katona a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA.
“We have to go with something that’s a little more distasteful to the ‘nobody’s going to tell me what to do’ crowd, but at the same time, it’s in the best interest of society.”
US San Francisco infectious diseases expert Dr. Monica Gandhi said she hopes this will encourage private employers to follow suit.
“There's a difference between the word mandate and requirement. Here it’s saying we really encourage you, otherwise it's going to be very difficult. You’re going to have to get tested every week,” said Gandhi.
She said the highly contagious Delta variant requires higher levels of immunity, so it "makes sense" to put in "strong" requirements at this point.