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How College COVID Vaccine Mandates Put Students in Danger
More than 520 of America’s 5,300 colleges and universities, approximately 10 percent, have announced students must be fully vaccinated against COVID before they return for fall classes.
We think that these mandates are unethical, chiefly because they indiscriminately require administering an experimental biological agent in the setting of a clinical investigation to a population that is at greater risk of harm from the drug than from COVID. Our advice to schools that have not yet adopted vaccine mandates is: don’t.
Google Installs COVID Tracking App on Android Phones in Massachusetts — Without User Consent
For a tool that claims to have been developed “with a focus on privacy,” imagine Massachusetts residents’ surprise when the app suddenly appeared on their Android phones out of nowhere. In a review on the Google Play Store, one shocked parent said:
“This installed silently on my daughter’s phone without consent or notification. She cannot have installed it herself since we use Family Link and we have to approve all app installs.
“I have no idea how they pulled this off, but it had to involve either Google, or Samsung, or both. Normal apps can’t just install themselves. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but this doesn’t count as ‘voluntary.’ We need information, and we need it now, folks.”
We Tried Out the First Statewide Vaccine Passport
On June 20, about 20,000 fans gathered at Madison Square Garden in New York City for a Foo Fighters concert. The venue was at full capacity for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but it wasn’t a full return to normalcy: To get in, ticket holders needed to show proof that they’d been vaccinated—in the form of either a paper card or the state’s Excelsior Pass, a much-debated smartphone app that launched earlier this year.
The pass now has about 2 million downloads, which represents just 10% of fully vaccinated New Yorkers. Implementation has been rocky—marked by persistent glitches, privacy concerns, and outrage over the state government’s failure to prioritize the material needs of working-class communities of color—and businesses that require vaccination proof are already seeing backlash.
Connecticut Children’s, Yale New Haven Health System Requiring All Employees to Get COVID Vaccine
Connecticut Children’s Hospital and the Yale New Haven Health System will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Children’s and the much larger Yale system are the first health care facilities to publicly say they will mandate vaccinations for employees. The decisions were made days after the Connecticut Hospital Association endorsed mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers on June 24. Connecticut Children’s told employees in a June 29 letter from president and CEO Jim Shmerling that they’ll have until the end of September to get fully vaccinated.
MSU Community Reacts to University Decision Against Mandatory COVID Vaccines
Michigan State alumna Janice Daverman said she disagrees with the university’s decision to not require the vaccine next semester. She said that keeping COVID-19 cases low is very important for students to gain the social interaction needed to learn at MSU.
New York Prisons Offering Inmates Barbecues, Conjugal Visits to Get Them Vaccinated
State prisons in New York are finding ways to motivate inmates to get their COVID-19 vaccinations by offering incentives like barbecues, care packages and conjugal visits.
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) told The New York Post they are doing “everything possible to encourage incarcerated individuals” to get vaccinated, and a total of 34,000 inmates have been given the chance to win certain prizes or rewards for being vaccinated.
Sentenced to Get Your COVID Shot: Judge Adds a New Term to Probation
Do the crime, get your shot.
As local governments continue to encourage their unvaccinated residents to get their COVID-19 shot, Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye from Franklin County, Ohio, is making getting a coronavirus vaccine a term of a defendant’s probation.
Out of Luck — COVID Vaccination Lotteries Don’t Work
The United States has missed President Biden’s July 4 goal of vaccinating 70 percent of eligible Americans against COVID-19. This is no surprise. Vaccination rates have been declining for months. With the spread of the highly transmissible and deadly Delta variant, the situation is worrisome.
To counter this decline in vaccinations, Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio announced, on May 12, a weekly $1 million lottery for people who got the vaccine. That day Ohio was administering about 15,000 COVID-19 vaccines daily. Two days later, the rate was nearly double, at 33,000 per day.
More than half of all states, including Massachusetts, are currently offering lottery programs to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations. Prizes range from $1 million cash to college tuition to vacations and even firearms.
England to Scrap Self-Isolation for Fully Vaccinated and Children After COVID Contact
Fully-vaccinated people and children will no longer have to self-isolate after a close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 after August 16 in England unless they also test positive, health minister Sajid Javid said on Tuesday.
“From the 16th of August … anyone who’s a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been fully vaccinated,” Javid told parliament, adding that people who had their second shot around that date would have to wait two weeks.
“In line with the approach for adults, anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate.”
Privacy Experts Concerned About Canada’s Forthcoming Vaccine Passport
The federal government is working on a national vaccine passport — what that will look like and how it could be used is not yet known — but privacy experts are concerned about how the information would be gathered.
“It’s not just going to be used for travel. People are talking about vaccine passports to get into concerts, to get into baseball games, football games, I mean all kinds of activities globally,” said Ann Cavoukian, executive director of the Global Privacy and Security by Design Centre.
Mask-Wearing Becomes a New Battleground in England as COVID Rules Are Eased
The debate over mask-wearing heated up in England on Monday after the British government announced that it would become a matter of “personal responsibility” rather than a legal requirement once Covid restrictions are removed, as planned, on July 19.
The move immediately provoked a strong response from people on both sides of the divide, who soon took to Twitter to share their views.