Do we really need vaccination mandates for crew?

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If you think the debate about ‘masks’ vs. ‘no masks’ during the pandemic was heated, gear up for the next episode: vaccine mandates. In the US and several other countries across the world, vaccine mandates are introduced as a way of boosting vaccination levels. Unsurprisingly, those ideas have reached Europe. Over the past weeks, we saw Swiss and Wizz Air, following the steps of Qantas and airlines in North America, announcing the introduction of mandatory vaccination for their crew. 

Their line of argument is: Some countries have introduced mandatory vaccination and immigration requirements for travelers and crew. It makes it impossible for us to plan our operations if our crew are not fully jabbed. 

Don’t get me wrong – I got my vaccine in May. There is no doubt that vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent many diseases. COVID-19 is no different. A high vaccination rate will keep the virus at bay, and we all want to put this pandemic behind us, once and for all. However, vaccination mandates’ raison d’être is to protect the public health by stopping the spread of contagious diseases. It is not a tool to facilitate roster or operations planning.