While most meeting organizers are asking attendees at events this fall and early next year to either show proof of vaccination or of a recent negative Covid test, a number of large, influential events have recently announced that in-person attendees will have to be vaccinated.
While not the first conferences with a vaccine mandate—the August HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition and Salesforce’s scaled-back Dreamforce 2021 in September, for example, announced their requirements back in May—the idea appears to be gaining momentum with the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine.
Here are four major shows that have announced a vaccination requirement in the past two weeks:
• American Gaming Association, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), October 4-7, Las Vegas
• National Association of Broadcasters, NAB Show, October 9-13, Las Vegas
• American Academy of Ophthalmology, Annual Meeting, November 12-15, New Orleans
• Consumer Technology Association, CES 2022, January 5-8, Las Vegas
In some cases, attendees, exhibitors, staff, media, and others must prove they’ve had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. For others, in-person participants must be two weeks beyond their second dose.
These associations’ new vaccine requirements align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—which most recently urged unvaccinated people not to travel over the Labor Day holiday weekend—and joins a flow of almost daily news about new vaccine mandates, where Covid tests cannot be used as a workaround:
• Audiences at Broadway theaters in New York must be vaccinated.
• Passengers and workers on commercial air flights in Canada will soon have to prove they've been vaccinated.
• Anguilla and Turks and Caicos are open only to vaccinated travelers.
• In New York City and San Francisco, many indoor activities such as eating at restaurants are off limits to the unvaccinated.
• The U.S. Open tennis tournament, held in New York in late August and early September, is requiring vaccination of spectators 12 and older.
• The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros were the first teams in Major League Baseball with a vaccination mandate.
• The Pentagon has ordered all active and reserve military to be vaccinated.
• A study of 961 U.S. companies found that more than half are planning to impose vaccination mandates in the workplace by the end of the year.
Commenting on the importance of vaccines and the American Gaming Association’s decision to limit in-person attendance to those who are vaccinated, Korbi Carrison, G2E event director, said, “We know how enthusiastic the gaming community is about G2E 2021, and we also understand the importance of hosting an event where everyone feels as safe as possible. We are continuously following government and public-health guidance and are having data-driven conversations with health and safety experts to guide our decision making. We’re thankful for exhibitors’ and stakeholders’ continued support throughout this process.”