Physician viewpoint: Make COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all Americans

The U.S. should require all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to promote herd immunity, an emergency medicine physician wrote in an op-ed for STAT.

At least 80 percent of Americans need to be immune to COVID-19 through a previous infection or vaccination to achieve herd immunity, according to Lauren Grossman, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora and medical director of its Integrative Medicine Center. 

Dr. Grossman expressed fear that many people may resist getting a COVID-19 vaccine based on past trends in flu vaccination rates. During the 2018-19 season, 51 percent of Americans did not get a flu shot, according to a survey from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"To put this scourge behind us, I believe that our nation should, for the first time ever, require all Americans — or at least schoolchildren and workers in direct-contact jobs — to be vaccinated against this coronavirus," she wrote.

Dr. Grossman said the U.S. should start creating vaccination policies and programs now to ensure they can be implemented before a vaccine is ready.

To view the full op-ed, click here.

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