Daily Column – 27th December 2021

Should you be required to be completely vaccinated in order to attend your workplace? Do you eat in a restaurant? Have you ever been to a Pearl Jam concert? This year, those were the questions that sparked more debate than cilantro.

Countries all over the world have struggled with how best to convince their vaccine-averse populations to obtain doses, especially when new and more contagious forms of the virus, such as Delta and Omicron, have appeared on the scene. The majority of countries have not gone as far as Austria, which announced earlier this month that it will require vaccinations for everyone over the age of 14.

In the United States, state and local governments, as well as large corporations, have enacted the vast majority of vaccine requirements.

A number of major corporations, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Google, Delta Air Lines, Tyson Foods and Microsoft, have stated that they will require employees to get vaccinated.
According to a poll of more than 6,000 employers conducted in December, two-thirds of US businesses want to ensure at least some of their employees to be vaccinated against various diseases.
Many citizens and Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, have objected to vaccine mandates, claiming that they are an example of government overreach. Some of the most well-known holdouts are professional athletes of the highest calibre. Vaccine-uninsured Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving hasn’t played in a single game this season, while Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers almost caused a stir when he admitted to not being protected against the flu.

As the year continued, the momentum for vaccine mandates in the United States waned a little bit more. Major hospital systems, such as HCA Healthcare and the Cleveland Clinic, have put their mandates on hold while they grapple with a labour shortage. Since President Biden’s vax-or-test rule for large businesses was halted in the courts, additional companies such as GE, Amtrak, Boeing, and others have abandoned their vaccination obligations. The mandate will be enforced in the new year, as a result of an appeals court’s approval of its implementation in the current year.

Given that two doses of vaccine proved to be less effective against the Omicron form, we should expect additional vaccination mandates to include booster shots in the future. As of today, the NFL requires coaches and some members of their staff to have a booster injection, and other institutions and arts organisations are also requiring booster shots.

“Transitory Inflation” was the runner-up. As a result of increased prices spreading across the economy and persisting for a longer period of time than policymakers had anticipated, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s once-favored approach of describing the current inflationary episode has been rejected. The Federal Reserve has pencilled in three interest rate rises for 2022 in order to contain inflation, which has reached its highest level in 39 years.

“Great Resignation” was the runner-up. HR departments should be ashamed of themselves. Employers were forced to reevaluate their relationship with their employees, as well as what they expected from them. A record 4.4 million people (or 3 percent of the workforce) departed their jobs in the month of September alone. Many more people may be changing their LinkedIn pages in the coming year as well: According to a new survey, more than 40% of professionals are considering quitting their professions in the first half of 2022, according to the results.

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