Letters to the Editor: Omicron will mutate into something worse without a national vaccine mandate

 Travelers at LAX walk through terminal
Arriving travelers at LAX walk past a sign directing them to get a free COVID-19. Some readers say a national vaccination mandate is needed.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: COVID-19 remains a global nightmare, and the focus must be on preventing the emergence of a vaccine-resistant variant by mandating universal vaccinations. (“‘A perfect storm’ for Delta, Omicron could overwhelm hospitals within weeks,” Dec. 17)

The Omicron variant is rapidly spreading. It is reassuring that the symptoms appear to be generally mild, but any symptom is a sign that the virus is replicating, and the more people that get infected, the more replication takes place.

Replication is how the virus will give rise to new variants, one of which will likely be vaccine-resistant, more virulent or both.

The most fundamental responsibility of our elected government is to protect Americans from existential threats. This is a public health crisis, and people must sacrifice individual freedoms and beliefs for the good of us all. Piecemeal mandates, incentives and urging from experts have been largely ineffective and far too slow to stop .

An executive order or legislation requiring vaccination is needed now, and our government must help the rest of the world vaccinate without delay.


Steven Sorscher, M.D., Winston-Salem, N.C.

The writer is a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine.


To the editor: The perfect COVID-19 storm to which The Times alludes could be more “perfect” than most realize in that hospitals are suspending workers for not vaccinating, [worsening] an already existing medical staff shortage.

Have we now reached the point of diminished returns in mandating employee vaccinations? Some really hard decisions will have to be made because the state is recognizing that breakthrough infections among boosted Californians must be dealt with.

This still leaves us with familiar tools: testing, masks, handwashing and social distancing. This time around we also have Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill as a potential treatment. Could this be a game changer that can helps mitigate medical staffing issues?

Dan Mariscal, Montebello


To the editor: I wonder just how many lives could have been saved if then-President Trump had promoted vaccines, masks and social distancing right from the get-go, instead of talking about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine and injecting disinfectants, and all the other nonsense he came up with (while receiving the best care possible when in the hospital and secretly getting vaccinated).


This man should not be allowed to run for office again.

Susan Stann, Temecula


To the editor: More than 800,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, most of them unvaccinated. Leaving the remainder of unvaccinated Americans to make up their minds and decide to get their shots is a fool’s errand.

Those who will do so voluntarily have already done it. The remainder have to be coerced in order to achieve some form of victory over this virus. We will soon approach 1 million deaths. Claims of personal freedom ring hollow in the face of rising infection rates.

Weak political leaders should be doing much more besides whining at us. There should be forceful mandates. No vaccination? Then no visiting restaurants, school, clubs, movies, stores, gyms, stadiums and so forth. Only food markets and pharmacies should be exempt.

Yes, there will be a hue and cry and other protests. Yes, there will likely be economic repercussions. But the only way to stop the spread of this virus and thus its mutation into more dangerous variants is to vaccinate everyone. And it better happen soon.

Daniel Berez, M.D., Studio City