In the light of ongoing debates on mandatory vaccination for employees, Florida Governor DeSantis strongly advocated against forcing employees to mask up.
As a response, he threatened all local governments with an administrative penalty for mandating their employees to get vaccinated.
DeSantis however also stressed that he still advocated that everyone should have their respective vaccinations, but he was against making it mandatory. Covid-19 vaccines are “available for all, but mandatory for none,” he said.
In concretizing his actions, his legislation of SB 2006, which he had signed in May this year, formed the basis of the argument. This legislation aims to prohibit local governments and businesses in Florida from mandating people to show proof they are completely vaccinated or provide documents showing they do not have the virus.
How is the COVID statistics in Florida?
Currently, the state has an average daily case of 11,013, with recorded 23,930 cases as of Monday, according to Florida Health. The state has administered 19,119,043 people with the first doses of te vaccines.
“If a government agency in the state of Florida forces a vaccine as a condition to employment, that violates the Florida law, and you will face a $5,000 fine for every single violation. And so if you look at places here in Alachua County, as the city of Gainsville, that’s millions and millions of dollars potentially in fines,” DeSantis said. “Many of the workers have already COVID. Ok. Let’s just be honest… The ones who have recovered have very strong immunity,” he added.
But research shows that even if people have complete vaccinations, it does not mean complete immunization from the disease as there is evidence of breakthrough infections. Scientific studies even show that unvaccinated people who had Covid-19 are more likely to acquire the virus than people who are completely vaccinated.
Most counties in Florida are at reporting high number of Covid-19 cases. This scenario provided the impetus for most officials to mandate the vaccination to lessen the potential threat of surging COVID cases again.