COVID-19 pandemic: Should vaccination be compulsory? | To the point

To call it a matter of life and death is not hyperbole. With a fourth wave of COVID-19 rolling across Europe, physicians here in Germany are warning of disastrous trade-offs as intensive care units reach capacity and patients are transferred abroad for treatment.

Hospitals are seeing younger and sicker patients than in prior waves, especially amongst the unvaccinated. In Germany some 15 million people still lack immunity because they haven’t had the jab. Calls for mandatory vaccination are growing louder – neighboring countries like Austria are leading the way. Other countries are reimposing lockdowns. Not without resistance, as evidenced by recent protests. Today we’re asking: COVID-19 pandemic: Should vaccination be compulsory?

Our guests: Alexander Kekulé (virologist), Susanne Schreiber (German Ethics Council), Kai Kupferschmidt (molecular biologist and science journalist)

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COVID-19: Dominic Raab says ‘no plans’ for compulsory jabs in UK

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab says there are no plans to make COVID vaccines mandatory for all, following the success of the immunisation programme.

In response to calls for more people to wear face masks, he also told Sky’s Kay Burley he thinks we have the ‘balance right’ at the moment, but the government will ‘stay vigilant’.

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Compulsory jab for NHS staff: Health Secretary wants patients to be ‘as safe as possible’

The Health Secretary says he doesn’t want anyone to lose their job, as frontline NHS workers and social care staff in England are told they must get the COVID-19 vaccine to be able to work.

Sajid Javid told Sky’s Kay Burley the rules are about keeping patients safe.

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Should climate education be compulsory?

Climate change education should be made compulsory or the government’s climate ambitions risk failing, college leaders have warned. So how can we put climate change on the curriculum? 

We hear from Economist Vicky Pryce and Policy Director at Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, Bob Ward.

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United Airlines makes COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for staff

United Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for all its domestic employees.

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COVID-19: Wales opts to continue with compulsory mask-wearing

Wales’ Economy Minister Vaughan Gething explains why mandatory mask-wearing will continue in some setting in Wales when the rules change in England and Scotland.

COVID restrictions will ease this weekend and if progress continues, the nation will move to ‘Level 0’ early next month.

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Compulsory jabs too late for my dad, says Frenchwoman preparing to sue

France announced this week all healthcare workers will have to get a COVID-19 jab, but Johanna Cohen-Ganouna believes if that decision had been taken earlier, her father could still be alive.

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Mayor of London makes mask-wearing compulsory on trains and buses after ‘Freedom Day’

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says wearing masks will continue to be mandatory on public transport in the capital after July 19, describing it as the "unselfish thing to do".

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Delta rising: France mulls compulsory COVID vaccines for health workers | DW News

Governments across Europe are stepping up the fight against the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Health authorities hope to say one step ahead of rising infections by increasing vaccination rates. France is focusing in particular on health workers – and may make immunization compulsory. But not everyone agrees this is the way to go.
Israel is offering a booster shot of the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine to adults with weak immune systems.
Scientists now say it’s possible to catch two virus variants at the same time. A 90-year-old woman from Belgium is believed to have died from strains first identified in the UK and South Africa.
And British authorities are warning against large gatherings before the Euro 2020 football final.

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Singapore firms can make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for workers in higher-risk settings

Singapore workers in jobs that put them at higher risk of getting COVID-19 may be asked by their firms to get vaccinated. New tripartite guidelines released on July 2 said firms may make it compulsory for people to get jabs before getting hired in settings, such as lab workers, frontline staff in hospitals and hotels, or those in air and sea transport. If workers refuse, firms could redeploy them to other roles. They may even face salary cuts to bear the costs of testing or quarantines. Unlike their vaccinated colleagues, they may have to take no-pay leave to serve stay-home notices.

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