COVID vaccine compliance battle brewing at Metro Detroit businesses

Michigan reports 6,093 new COVID cases

Monday, Sept. 13, 2021
Monday, Sept. 13, 2021

DETROIT – Many Metro Detroit businesses are struggling to deal with the new federal vaccine mandate issued by the Biden administration last week.

Revolting against vaccines is not new. It is part of the DNA of our global history, according to Dr. Mark Navin, medical ethicist with Oakland University and Beaumont Health. 

“England in the middle 19th century was mandating smallpox vaccines for everyone in their country and there were riots. Government buildings were burnt down. They were thousands of people coming together and sort of threatening government public health officials. They even tried to take over Parliament at one point. Somewhere around a fifth of the seats in parliament were taken over by an anti-vaccine party,” said Dr. Navin.

And in fact Dr. Navin believes opt-outs or exemptions whether medical or religious are a necessary relief valve to keep the pressure cooker that is the battle over vaccine mandates from blowing the lid off the so-called political and social pot. 

“I want everyone vaccinated but I would rather have almost everyone vaccinated and a few people opting out than trying to force everyone to get vaccinated and heightening the political polarization and political conflict about that,” said Dr. Navin.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know Sept. 13, 2021

The vaccine mandates working their way into law are a Human Resources nightmare according to Human Resources expert, Debi Ritter, benefits specialist for UHY Consultants.

“It’s very difficult on the HR team, I think HR teams could be very polarized within their own team on the subject, based on people’s beliefs, or how they’re being influenced or what they’re listening to,” said Ritter.

Michigan reported 6,093 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 2,031 cases over the past three days. Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 976,505, including 20,535 deaths. T

Read more: Michigan reports 6,093 new COVID cases, 29 deaths -- average of 2,031 cases per day

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.