As part of a comprehensive effort to control the current outbreak of Covid-19, President Joe Biden last Thursday imposed strict new vaccination requirements on government employees, significant businesses, and healthcare professionals nationwide.
The new regulations may apply with as many as 100 million Americans, or almost two-thirds of an American workforce, and represent Biden’s most aggressive effort yet to mandate vaccinations for a large portion of the United States’ population.
Biden Announces New Vaccination Requirements
His tone hardened against Americans who continue to refuse to get a vaccination despite sufficient proof of their safety and complete approval of one vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
He said that vaccinated America was becoming “frustrated” with 80 million individuals who had not got vaccinations and were thus contributing to the spread of the illness. And he recognized that the additional measures would not offer a fast resolution to the situation.
The centerpiece of Biden’s new plan is a directive to the Labor Department requiring all businesses with a hundred or more employees to ensure that the employees are either vaccinated or tested at least once in a week, a broad step taken by the President after consulting with administration health authorities and lawyers. Biden’s new plan is expected to be implemented in the coming months. If a company does not comply, it may be subject to hundreds of dollars in penalties for each employee.
According to a senior administration official who spoke to the media, employees of the United States Postal Service will be subject to the regulation. Employees would be forced to get vaccinated or face obligatory weekly testing. Employees of the United States Postal Service, which operates as a quasi-independent entity, number more than 640,000.
In addition, Biden issued an executive order mandating all government workers to be vaccinated for Covid-19, with no opportunity to opt-out of the vaccination via frequent testing. The President also signed an additional order mandating that the same criteria be applied to workers of contractors who do trade with the federal government as it is for government employees.
According to the governor, governors should mandate vaccines for schoolteachers and other school personnel, who said that 300,000 instructors in federal Head Start programs must be immunized.
In addition, Vice President Biden announced that he would require all 17 million health care workers who work in facilities that receive funds from Medicaid and Medicare to be fully vaccinated, broadening the mandate to include hospitals, home care facilities, and dialysis centers across the country, among other things.
The new regulations represent the most significant move forward in the effort to increase vaccination rates in the United States. As vaccine reluctance continues among some populations, the Biden administration, which was previously wary of vaccination requirements, is now enthusiastically supporting them.
Officials within the administration recognized that the mandate for big companies might be challenged in the courts. However, they said that they hoped to offer protection under federal regulations to companies that want to mandate vaccinations for their workers.
The new restrictions come as the Delta variety wreaks havoc on communities throughout the country, resulting in an increase in hospitalizations and fatalities, especially in regions where vaccination rates are low or non-existent.