What you need to know about President Joe Biden’s new term on the COVID vaccine

What you need to know about President Joe Biden's new term on the COVID vaccine

Freeport, NY: Daniel Merlos, 15, of Freeport, New York, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Freeport High School, where Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital administered to all students, staff and residents in the community eligible a COVID-19 vaccination on July 15 provide. , 2021.

Steve Pfaust | Press day | Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s latest vaccination campaign is his administration’s most aggressive effort yet to bring the raging coronavirus pandemic under control.

Critics see the president’s move as a reversal of his previous promise to avoid a vaccine term. However, federal health officials believe this is the next step in the fight against the highly contagious Delta variant, which kills more than 1,500 Americans every day, according to CNBC analysis of Johns University data. Hopkins, and Fill hospitals with unvaccinated bags. Country at the limit.

“We will protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated colleagues,” Biden said when announcing the plan Thursday. “We will reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the vaccine workforce in businesses across the United States. “

The multidisciplinary approach touches hundreds of public and private companies and millions of American workers. It makes vaccines mandatory and eliminates testing options for federal government employees, including healthcare workers, and calls for tougher penalties for those who fail to comply.

Here’s what you need to know about Biden’s latest offer to get more Americans vaccinated.

Where vaccination is mandatory, with no testing option

Federal employees and contractors working with the government are facing renewed vaccine mandates and will no longer be able to do routine COVID testing.

“If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated,” Biden said. “If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce. “

Healthcare workers also face strict mandates. The president has ordered all health care facilities that receive federal Medicaid or Medicare funding to require vaccines for their staff without any testing options.

Previously, the Biden administration only made vaccines mandatory for employees of U.S. nursing homes receiving federal funding. Some states, including New York and Maine, have already made vaccinations mandatory for healthcare workers.

The new rules will affect more than 17 million healthcare workers in more than 50,000 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the United States

“If you are looking for care in a healthcare facility, you should be able to know that the people you are treating have been vaccinated,” Biden said. “Simple, straightforward, period. “

The president also ordered all employees of the federally administered Head Start programs to be vaccinated. According to Chocbeat, a news agency covering education, the order extends to schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Defense, affecting some 300,000 people in total.

When vaccination or weekly tests are mandatory

Despite the extent of the president’s setback, most American workers, over 80 million, will still have the opportunity to prove they are not carriers of the virus by undergoing weekly COVID tests.

In a bid to speed up the pace of daily firing, which has slowed from a peak in mid-August, the president ordered the Ministry of Labor to introduce a new rule requiring any business with more than 100 employees to limit its employees. or his weekly shots. Vaccines must be mandatory for COVID testing. For workers who cite religious or health reasons for not getting vaccinated. However, these reasons for opting out are likely to be further considered by employers in the future.

The new rule will be enforced by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. OSHA can issue a temporary emergency standard if it proves that employees are in danger and that the proposed rule can avoid that danger.

Employers will also be ordered to grant paid time off to vaccinate employees. This applies to both the public and private sectors.

“No one should lose their salary to get the vaccine or to vaccinate a loved one,” Biden said.

Consequences of non-compliance with the rules

According to an August survey by USA Today and Ipsos, a majority of Americans support the vaccine’s mandate in the workplace, with 62% of Americans supporting the idea.

Yet of the 29% of U.S. voters who have not been vaccinated, 83% say they do not plan to be vaccinated, according to a new CNBC poll.

Employees who fail to comply with the new mandate could face a range of consequences, including layoff, as companies feel pressured to align.

Businesses that violate the OSHA rule face a fine of $ 13,600, although the implementation and enforcement of the new rules may take some time. OSHA has seen a steady decline in membership and currently provides one inspector for every 83,000 workers, according to the AFL-CIO, the largest union in the United States.

US President Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus safety in schools during a visit to Brookland Middle School September 10, 2021 in Washington DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Appeal to illiterate Americans

In his announcement, Biden asked why 80 million Americans still haven’t received vaccines despite being made free and accessible and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“What else to expect?” What else to watch? Biden said. “We have been patient, but our patience is running out. “

Biden called on those who run large entertainment venues, playgrounds and cinemas to require vaccination or proof of a negative test for entry. While New York and San Francisco already require proof of vaccination for activities such as eating indoors and attending movies and entertainment venues, New York requires proof of at least one dose and San Francisco requires proof of at least one dose. proof of vaccination. Francisco requires proof of full vaccination.

Biden also called on doctors across the country to “contact unvaccinated patients … and make a personal appeal to them to get vaccinated.”

According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75% of American adults have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and about 54% of all Americans are fully vaccinated. Experts are still divided as to the percentage of the population that must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, although estimates vary between 70% and 90%.

“It’s not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you, ”Biden said.

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