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Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: Businesses mandating vaccines

Now that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has received full federal authorization for those 16 and older, a slew of companies are mandating immunization for their workers.

Each business needs to make its own policies, but especially for large public-facing companies, the commitment to public health was heartening to hear. In Hawaii, these include CVS, Hawaiian Airlines and American Savings Bank; Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Territorial Savings Bank had earlier announced vaccinations for employees.

Let’s hope the FDA’s full approval provides the needed shot in the arm for vaccination surges. They’re surely needed, and quickly, before COVID-19 does more damage.

Get scared, get vaccinated

State Health Director Libby Char, speaking on the Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii webcast on Wednesday, said she was gratified to see the daily vaccination rate ticking up. The previous day the state had logged nearly 5,000 shots.

Many, including public employees, may be meeting a job requirement, but the distressing news from hospitals surely has had an effect, too.

“People are scared,” Char said. “And they should be.”

Fear can be a good motivator for seeking protection from real threats, such as COVID-19.

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