Oct. 18, 2021 -- Police officers and other public safety officials should get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and others, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday.

Police unions across the country have urged members to resist vaccine requirements for their jobs. But Fauci said police officers should view vaccination as a key part of their job.

“Think about the implications of not getting vaccinated when you’re in a position where you have a responsible job, and you want to protect yourself because you’re needed at your job, whether you’re a police officer or a pilot or any other of those kinds of occupations,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

In Chicago, the head of the police union told officers to ignore a city order to report their vaccination status by the end of the day on Oct. 15, according to The New York Times. Vaccinations aren’t required for city employees, but those who aren’t vaccinated must get tested two times each week.

In Seattle, the police union said the city’s shortage of police officers would become worse due to a vaccine mandate, according to CNN. Officers in Miami are also resisting vaccine requirements.

During his Fox News appearance, Fauci emphasized the importance of vaccine mandates for public service employees.

“I’m not comfortable with telling people what they should do under normal circumstances, but we are not in normal circumstances right now,” he said. “Take the police: We know now the statistics. More police officers die of COVID than they do any other causes of death, so it doesn’t make any sense to not try to protect yourself, as well as the colleagues that you work with.”

More than 475 U.S. law enforcement officers have died from the coronavirus, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, making COVID-19 the top duty-related cause of death in 2020 and 2021.

About five times as many police officers have died from the virus as from gunfire during the pandemic. Across 2020 and 2021, 94 officers died from gunfire.

“We’re not living in a vacuum as individuals. We’re living in a society, and society needs to be protected,” Fauci said Sunday. “And you do that by not only protecting yourself, but by protecting the people around you, by getting vaccinated.”

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

Fox News: “Transcript: ‘Fox News Sunday’ on October 17, 2021.”

The New York Times: “Fauci urges police officers to get vaccinated.”

CNN: “Five times as many police officers have died from Covid-19 as from gunfire since start of pandemic.”

Officer Down Memorial Page: “Fallen Officers From the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

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