Michigan Republicans aim to block vaccine passports and school mandates

Matthew Donnellon

Photo by Alex Mecl on Unsplash

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost. Half a million families have changed forever. Millions have been infected, some still struggle with the disease months afterward.

But there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Recently, the president just announced that they just hit 200 million vaccinations, ““This is an American achievement — a powerful demonstration of unity and resolve, what unity will do for us, and a reminder of what we can accomplish when we pull together as one people to a common goal,” Biden said at a White House event.

Right now the vaccines are the best hope for ending the pandemic. But, it is a race to get people vaccinated before other variants of the viruses emerge, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia explained the situation in Michigan to Medpage Today:

“Right now in Michigan, what you're seeing is this shift in the age of hospitalizations has gone down to the 30s and 40s. And because the variant that's there is more lethal, you're seeing potentially more severe disease than what you would have a few months ago.

And so it's just a race between the vaccines and the variants. And right now in Michigan, the variants there are winning out.”

As of late, the vaccines have shown to have success against the B.1.1.7 vaccine that’s raging in Michigan right now, so the more people who can be vaccinated, the fewer there will be to infect.

Unfortunately, some parts of the government wish to stand in the way of this.

Michigan has been able to vaccinate many of the people who want the shot. But the state is facing trouble getting the rest of the citizens on board. Close to 50 percent of adults have gotten at least one shot, but the inoculated population needs to reach 70 percent if we are going to see a return to normal.

It’s getting that last 20 percent that’s going to be hard as Kerry Ebersole-Singh of the Protect Michigan commission told Fox 2 Detroit that vaccination numbers were falling and that they now had more vaccines than appointments.

This news comes as Michigan Republicans announce they will be taking measures to block attempts to mandate vaccine passports or universities requiring on campus students to be vaccinated.

Bridge Michigan reports that “New House legislation would prohibit the state or local governments from creating, issuing or incentivizing the kind of vaccine passports that Israel and other countries have used to ease travel restrictions for inoculated residents and provide special access to restricted sites like hotels, gyms, theaters and music venues.”

Along with another bill that would keep public colleges from requiring students who want to live on campus to get vaccinated.

These laws were brought up after Oakland University and Michigan, along with several schools around the country, both said they will require students living in dorms must have vaccinations before moving in.

So far, the only counter Republican’s have levied is that “Vaccination is a “personal choice,” and the state should not encourage “a “two-tiered system between… the haves and the have nots,” said sponsoring Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, who also raised data security concerns.”

It should be pointed out that a person's feelings do not supersede civic duty. The government is well within its right to require things in the interest of public safety. You are required to have a license to operate a vehicle on public roadways. Children are required to get certain immunizations before attending public school. Many employers require their employees to get the flu vaccine.

If we are going to reach the end of the pandemic people need to get vaccinated. Requirements like this will help encourage people to do so.

Standing in the way will only halt all the progress we’ve made so far.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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