Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, supports vaccine mandates for U.S. air travel– and he’s not alone.
Public support for a vaccine mandate for air passengers keeps growing, according to a recent Gallup poll. According to Forbes, “More than six in 10 Americans (61%) now support requiring proof of full vaccination before getting on a plane — up from 57% in April 2021.
Support for vaccine mandates for hotel guests reached majority status in August, notching up 9 percent from 44% in April to 53% in August.
The largest shift in attitudes about vaccination mandates involves eating out. Between April and August, there was a whopping 13% jump in support for having to show proof of vaccination status before dining in a restaurant. Now 53% of Americans support such a requirement, compared to 40% four months ago.
Nearly six in 10 (58%) of Americans now support a vaccine mandate for attending large events like concerts and festivals — up from 55% in April.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Americans who are already vaccinated tend to favor vaccine mandates for travel, while the unvaccinated oppose them. Nearly eight in 10 (79%) of vaccinated Americans support having to show proof of vaccination status for air travel, compared to just 22% support among the unvaccinated.”
“I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” Fauci said in an interview.
In recent months, Americans have grown much more worried about Covid-19, which is not good news for airlines. Concerns about contracting the coronavirus are at their highest level since January, with 41% of Americans now extremely or very worried that they or a family member would become infected — roughly double the percentage who were worried in June, according to a recent poll from the Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago.
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However, some airlines would opt for pre-testing instead of vaccination mandates. Experts say that testing is more dangerous, mainly because testing does not guarantee that the person won’t have contracted the disease when they get on the plane.
“I mean, you get a test within a certain period of time. But then there’s going to be a period of time between when you get the test and when you get on the plane. So wouldn’t it make infinitely more sense to have a vaccine mandate, which is going to give you a high chance of protection from that risk of serious illness?” says Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
As of now, almost every state has imposed mask and vaccine mandates, so it would only be logical to approve mandates for air travel too.
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The Biden administration also imposed vaccine mandates on federal workers and many health care workers. Stay tuned with us to get more and the latest updates from our journalists.