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Data shows vaccine mandates work and help contain COVID-19, doctors say

Florida could see more vaccine mandates as time goes on.

TAMPA, Fla. — As more states and businesses start to implement vaccine mandates for COVID-19, doctors say the rule will help contain the virus.

"Generally the vaccine mandates tend to work very well. You never get 100% of the population who's going to get vaccinated, but if you're over 90%, the virus just doesn't have enough people to infect and it can't ever get a foothold to get going. That's really where we want to be," Dr. Tom Unnasch with USF Public Health said.

In Tampa, Sept. 30th was the deadline for all city employees to get vaccinated. Mayor Jane Castor's office says so far compliance among the 4,700 workers has risen from 40 percent in August to 70 percent now.

While city staff says they have exceptions to the rule and are on legal bounds, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to threaten cities with vaccine mandates with fines of up to $5,000.

"If a government agency in the state of Florida forces a vaccine as a condition to employment, that violates Florida law," DeSantis said.

But doctors say we can still see more vaccine mandates in the state because of federal law.

"If there is a federal mandate for certain types of vaccines to go to school, or to work in certain industries, and those kinds of things, it will override what we see here in the state," Dr. Jill Roberts, an Epidemiologist with USF Public Health said.

The latest example is United Airlines. After the airline announced over 500 employees would be fired for not getting the shot, hundreds got vaccinated the next day.

"If it's get the vaccine or lose your job, they're not going to risk their livelihood on making a stand," Dr. Michael Teng, a Virologist with USF Health said.

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