Following a year of drab, online-only events, CES is coming back in 2022 with its annual technology convention in Sin City. But the organizers said today that if you’re planning on attending in person, you’ll need to prove you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“On August 17, CTA announced that all attendees and exhibitors will need to show proof of vaccination in order to attend CES,” the Consumer Technology Association, the organizer of CES, said in its announcement. “CTA continues to monitor guidelines for health safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nevada and Clark County.”
Surely anti-vaxxers are going to come out of the woodwork decrying the vaccine mandate, but at least they’ll be kept outside the convention center. To participate in public gatherings in any capacity, corporations are increasingly requiring proof of vaccination, which under the rules of rampant capitalism, is totally their prerogative.
Stop the spread — While it’s true that the vaccinated among us can still carry the coronavirus and spread it to others, the odds of doing so are significantly less likely among the vaccinated. Also, vaccinated individuals who do get COVID-19 and get sick tend to experience far less severe illness. Reducing spread is the most important way to stop COVID-19 from mutating into new variations that could evade vaccines and cause more unnecessary deaths. CES is a gathering notorious for causing lots of sickness as tens of thousands of people converge on the showroom floors, sleep too little, and work too hard. It’s a perfect environment for the coronavirus to spread.
CTA says that it may also allow the unvaccinated to attend, so long as they present a test proving they’ve recovered from a COVID-19 infection and developed antibodies against the virus. It might be a good idea to have even the vaccinated provide tests, but CTA is trying to strike a balance.
Private mandates — Many other organizations have begun requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests in order to gather in public. New York City, San Francisco, and New Orleans lead among big U.S. cities to mandate vaccination as a prerequisite to attending indoor spaces like bars and restaurants.
The nation’s largest teachers’ union last week offered its support to policies that would require all teachers to get vaccinated, and many airlines are strongly suggesting their workers get the shot. Concert promoter Live Nation says it will require proof of vaccination or negative tests for attendees and crew members.
COVID-19 cases are rising across the country, but most hospitalizations remain among the unvaccinated. If requiring vaccines for CES helps get more holdouts to reconsider, we’re all in favor.
CES 2022 starts on January 3 for the media, and the show floor will open on January 5.