The hottest new trend in tech is vaccine mandates.
CES announced Tuesday that, come 2022, proof of vaccination against the coronavirus will be required for those in attendance. The annual Las Vegas consumer electronics conference, which in 2020 drew a crowd of over 170,000 people from around the world, is scheduled for a mix of both online and in-person events when it returns in early January of next year.
Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of CTA, the trade group which puts on CES, explained the thinking behind the new requirement.
“We all play a part in ending the pandemic through encouraging vaccinations and implementing the right safety protocols,” said Shapiro in a press release. “We are taking on our responsibility by requiring proof of vaccination to attend CES 2022 in Las Vegas.”
Notably, CES says that there may be at least one way to get around the mandate: proof of a positive coronavirus antibody test. However, as the CDC makes clear, antibodies in blood don’t guarantee protection against reinfection.
“Antibodies can protect you from getting those infections for some period of time afterward,” writes the CDC on its coronavirus serology explainer page. “How long this protection lasts is different for each disease and each person.”
In addition to being known as the place for large companies to unveil absurdly priced, half-baked tech, CES has a storied history as a germ cesspool. With scores of attendees from around the world jammed into tight conventions spaces and showrooms over the course of a week, the conference has long been known by attendees as a flu super-spreader event.
After the early 2020 CES, there were even concerns that the event specifically super spread the coronavirus around the country.
CES is currently scheduled to run from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8, giving any vaccine holdouts (at least in the U.S.) plenty of time to get their shots.