COVID-19 Vaccine Crucial, but not Mandatory: WHOBy Antonio Gozain | Fri, 08/13/2021 - 13:38
Countries are puzzling over ways to increase their COVID-19 vaccination rates and some have turned to more coercive measures, such as France. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has spoken against mandatory vaccination in any country.
“In general terms, WHO opposes any mandatory vaccination,” said Fadela Chaib, spokeswoman of WHO, and added: “We have to explain to the population how vaccines work and how important they are. (However,) these vaccines are only one of the different tools that we have in our hands.”
WHO experts have repeatedly explained that the fight against COVID-19 does not end with vaccination but with the population following the sanitary measures, such as constant handwash, ventilation at home, social distance and facemask use.
Some countries like Spain, France, Canada, the UK and Germany have implemented coercive measures that make vaccination virtually mandatory. Thousands of people in France, for example, went out to the streets to protest against the list of prohibitions President Emmanuel Macron announced in July. In the other listed countries and also in the US, there is still a big resistance to vaccination and a bigger one for mandatory vaccination.
In Mexico, the third wave of COVID-19 is hitting hard, despite the progress the government has done to vaccinate its population. As of this week, the country has applied over 75 million doses to over 47 million people, with close to 30 million already fully vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health.
Mexico is still far from making vaccination mandatory throughout the country but some local governments have made attempts to do it. Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres, Mayor of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, said in July that beginning in August, everyone in the city will be forced to show vaccination proof to enter any public place, including malls, shops, theaters and stadiums. This decision was criticized by a sector of the population but also praised by others, who think this is the best way to contain the COVID-19 spread.
In Mexico City, vaccination continues progressing as expected by authorities. While in some boroughs 40–49-year-olds are receiving their second doses, most boroughs have already begun vaccinating their youngest adults, 18–29-year-olds.
USA to Donate 8.5 million Doses to Mexico
Earlier this week, Marcelo Ebrard, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the US will donate to Mexico 3.5 million Moderna and 5 million AstraZeneca shots, for a total of 8.5 million doses, following President Andrés Manuel López Obrador phone call with Vice President Kamala Harris.
“We deeply appreciate this act, which is the proof of the great relationship between our countries,” said Ebrard, who also called G20 members to avoid geopolitical games and accept all the vaccines already authorized by WHO.