On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advised that state and local governments should mandate that teachers receive the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the upcoming school year.
In an interview with MSNBC, Fauci acknowledged that while some may express anger over his position, it is necessary to battle the surge of the delta variant seen around the country, according to Bloomberg.
"Yeah I'm going to upset some people on this, but I think we should," said Fauci. "This is very serious business. You would wish that people would see why it's so important to get vaccinated."
Fauci noted that there wouldn't be a mandate on the federal level, and that a m ore local mandate "for schools, for teachers, for universities, for colleges" would be more appropriate.
"I'm sorry, I mean, I know people must like to have their individual freedom and not be told to do something, but I think we're in such a serious situation now, that under certain circumstances, mandates should be done," he said.
With full approval of the vaccinations from the Food and Drug Administration looming, Fauci said the approval could help local and state officials institute mandates without fear of legal repercussions.
"Local enterprises" could also could feel they have more freedom to require vaccines following a full FDA approval.
"If you want to work in an organization, you have to be vaccinated: I think we're going see a lot more of that," Fauci said.
Fauci's comments come amidst rising push back against mandated vaccines, with the New York State Teachers Union coming out against a mandate earlier this month.
"We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one. We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it's critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate," read a statement from the union.
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