America’s covid-19 vaccination rate is around 60% for ages 12 and up. That’s not enough to reach so-called herd immunity, and in states like Missouri—where a number of counties have vaccination rates under 25%—hospitals are overwhelmed by serious outbreaks of the more contagious delta variant.
The vaccine resisters offer all kinds of reasons for refusing the free shots and for ignoring efforts to nudge them to get inoculated. Campaigns urging Americans to get vaccinated for their health, for their grandparents, for their neighbors, or to get free doughnuts, or a free joint haven’t done the trick. States have even held lotteries with a chance to win millions or a college scholarship.
And yet there are still huge numbers of unvaccinated people. Federal, state, and municipal governments as well as private businesses continue to largely avoid mandates for their employees out of fears they will provoke a backlash.