Published in El Pais, 18 de Diciembre 2021.
Many countries are terribly behind with the vaccination against COVID-19. The main reasons are money and the difficulty of its organization. In some cases they defend it with the explanation that there are not that many deaths. It is true, a young population has enough natural measures that reduce the fatality rate. However, avoiding deaths is not the only reason to accelerate the vaccination campaign.
Several companies in the United States such as Google, Facebook, are forcing their workers to get vaccinated. And if they don’t have a valid reason not to, they get fired. Their main reason is that they don’t want their workers to die. And also when a worker enters the hospital, this translates into a high cost for a company. The company loses its productivity, and, in many cases, the company pays for sick days (or a certain part). In addition, there is the risk that the infected person goes to work, infecting other people that will also cause losses. And who pays for it in the end? Correct companies and finally society.
We have already reached a level where companies are making decisions that governments are unwilling or unable to make. Why don’t governments force people to get vaccinated? The simple reason is that it scares them. People are used to having the freedom to decide what to do with their lives and up to a certain level they are right. But society has to pay the price for “this freedom.” At this time, the Netherlands has 77% of the population vaccinated. And the price of the vaccination is worth it, and it is also demonstrated by the numbers of patients in Intensive Care (ICU) that are very small. In addition, of all the people in ICU, 77% are the unvaccinated. Imagine the cost reduction if everyone got vaccinated. Likewise, there were no problems with the capacity of the health system. Or, in other words, the doctors and the ICU that we now use to save an unvaccinated person, we could use to save a sick person who has other diseases.
Companies do not have the luxury of wasting money and resources, which is why more and more companies are demanding vaccination of their workers. If countries also want to save money, resources and save lives, it is necessary to vaccinate more intensively, not wait and perhaps better to impose vaccination.
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