Debate Over California City’s Municipal Worker Vaccination Sticker Policy Is Worth Watching for Print and Promo
As people received the COVID vaccines here in the U.S., vaccination stickers became the new “I voted” stickers, with people showing off their newly inoculated status on social media and on their T-shirts.
Now, vaccination stickers could serve a different purpose, as municipal employees in California are being asked to show proof of their vaccinated status as a sticker on ID badges.
Montclair city employees will receive stickers stating that they are vaccinated and, therefore, exempt from wearing masks, according to the Daily Bulletin. Employees who haven’t been vaccinated or don’t want to wear the sticker will be required to wear masks at work.
Some local city council members criticized the move as an invasion of personal privacy. Montclair city manager Edward Starr said that it’s aimed at compliance with a California directive on employee mask mandates, which requires all vaccinated employees to provide proof if they don’t want to wear masks.
(While those opposed to the directive claim it violates personal privacy, it is not a HIPAA violation to disclose vaccination status.)
The COVID-19 delta variant has become the dominant strain in the U.S., with the vast majority of positive cases coming from unvaccinated individuals. Cities and businesses want to avoid more drastic mitigation measures like the ones we saw in 2020, but part of that will rely on people either getting the vaccine or continuing precautionary measures like masking.
This is worth watching from a promo standpoint, as it could either create or deny new opportunities for stickers, labels and badges that specify a vaccinated status. City governments in California and other states requiring that employees disclose vaccinated status would be in the market for these products. Additionally, it could create some continued need for masks. If someone does not receive the vaccine or chooses not to disclose their status, they will still have to wear a mask.
Right now, this is limited to California. Other states may not use stickers to signify vaccinated status, and they might find the use of those identifiers to be invasions of privacy. One way or another, those decisions will have some sort of ramifications for sellers of these products.