Docs say taxis should require shots for drivers, riders

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Should you want a jab to hail a cab?

With shared autos mainly rolling petri dishes, epidemiologists say it could be “wise” to require drivers and passengers of taxis and different hailed rides to be vaccinated.

“I certainly would be in favor of that,” Dr. Barun Mathema, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, advised The Post.

The danger of coronavirus transmission throughout a automotive journey might be “uncomfortably high,” relying on components just like the size of the journey, masks sporting, how rapidly the virus is spreading in the neighborhood and, crucially, whether or not the home windows are up or down.

As it will get colder, Mathema mentioned, riders “are just not going to want” to maintain the home windows open.

He referred to as for “creative solutions” to advertise vaccinated rides, wanting a mandate, maybe together with reductions for vaccinated riders, driver incentives or some sort of opt-in system for the jabbed.

“There has to be coordination,” he mentioned. “And this has to come from the government,” or one ridesharing company may lose business getting forward of others with a mandate.

The metropolis Taxi & Limousine Commission advised The Post that whereas riders and drivers should masks up, neither are topic to vaccine necessities like some metropolis and state employees. It refused to touch upon a mandate.

Epidemiologists say it could be “wise” to require drivers and passengers of taxis and different hailed rides to be vaccinated.
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An Uber rep mentioned the company isn’t requiring jabs proper now, however it’s selling vaccines to riders and drivers.

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer mentioned in a CNBC interview the company thought of a vaccine mandate, however for now will follow masks.

Both taxi-killing Silicon Valley darlings require passengers to agree utilizing their apps to masks up and maintain the home windows down earlier than every journey.

But Andrew Burgie, assistant analysis scientist at NYU’s School of Global Public Health, mentioned these measures have been solely “the best thing you could do until something better comes along” — particularly, the vaccine. Now that the shots are simple and free to get, he mentioned it doesn’t make sense to depend on what he referred to as “secondary controls.”

“It would make sense to have a mandate,” he mentioned. “If everybody were inoculated, then we wouldn’t necessarily need to worry about masks.”