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New Study Finds ‘No Evidence’ That City-Wide Vaccine Mandates Impacted the Spread of COVID-19

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

During the pandemic, a slew of left-wing cities established vaccine mandates that required employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who did not comply faced suspension and termination from their jobs. Many cities took this a step further and mandated all businesses to require patrons to present their vaccine papers in order to enter the business. 

This week, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University unveiled a new study,“Indoor Vaccine Mandates in US Cities, Vaccination Behavior, and COVID-19 Outcomes.” The study questioned the efficacy of vaccine mandates in cities that implemented such mandates to visit indoor businesses, which included Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

“City vaccine mandates were arguably among the most restrictive and polarizing regulations ever enacted in the United States,” the study write-up said. “Millions of people were prevented from entering restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, sports arenas, and other public indoor areas without proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The mandates negatively affected unvaccinated individuals and businesses that were not allowed to serve unvaccinated customers.”

The write-up noted that supporters of the mandates said that it would uptick vaccination rates that the spread of COVID-19 would decrease. But, the study shows that this did not happen.

“We find no evidence that the announcement or implementation of indoor vaccine mandate in the cities listed had any significant effect on vaccine uptake, COVID-19 cases, or COVID-19 deaths, and this is largely consistent for all US cities that implemented the mandate,” the study stated.

In New York City, specifically, more than 90 percent of restaurants reported having “customer-related” challenges over the vaccine mandate. And, over 1,400 city workers were fired for refusing to get vaccinated.

"COVID cases were not affected by the mandate, COVID deaths were not affected by it, and people were not more likely to get vaccinated at all in the first place," Vitor Melo, a postdoctoral fellow at the Mercatus Center and one of the authors of the study told Fox 5 DC.

"The idea behind the mandate is more people are gonna get vaccinated, therefore we’re gonna reduce the spread of COVID," Melo added. "That first step really didn’t happen."

One of the reasons why, Melo explained, is because people would travel to neighboring areas without vaccine mandates to go out to eat, etc. In the Washington, D.C. area, for example, people would go out to Arlington, Virginia.

The study pointed out that studies detailing country-wide mandates, like in Europe, were effective and resulted in more people getting a dose of the vaccine. City-wide mandates in America did not have this effect. 

“The authors find that city-level mandates had smaller effect on vaccine uptake (and consequently on COVID-19 cases and deaths) than nationwide mandates— and thus failed to achieve their intended objectives,” it concluded.


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