Most power rests in the hands of states, employers, or private institutions.
Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a professor of bioethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said the United States is unlikely to make significant progress on its vaccination campaign without mandates.
“I like to say that a mandate is legal, ethical and effective,” he said. “Ultimately, jobs will probably have to.”
In his speech, Mr Biden said his government was not giving up trying to convince people that vaccination was in their best interest and in the interest of the country. However, he did not mention the need for states, private companies, schools, and other institutions to start requiring people who refused to be vaccinated.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted in comments to reporters Tuesday that some businesses, schools and other institutions were beginning to need vaccines. But she said the administration has no intention of encouraging her to do so.
“We will leave it to them to make these decisions,” said Ms. Psaki.
But others say the government could be more aggressive.
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor of global health law at Georgetown University, said that while the federal government’s powers to issue mandates are limited, the Biden government still has significant powers to recommend it. It could allocate more funding to vaccination detection systems and create incentives for colleges, universities and organizations to request a vaccine to be offered, he said.
“Vaccine mandates have been very successful in the US and around the world, even in politically difficult situations, because they make vaccination the standard,” said Gostin. “To be unvaccinated must be a difficult decision, not an easy one.”