On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden rolled out his administration’s sweeping plan to curb the surgingand to address the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in the US. The new requirements for all executive branch employees and contractors who do business with the federal government, as well as health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid facilities. Additionally, must require their workers to be vaccinated or test weekly for the virus.
The plan could reach about two-thirds of the US workforce, or up to 100 million people. In addition to the vaccination mandates, Biden announced that the government would double fines for airline passengers who refuse to wear masks. While stopping short of issuing requirements for all private businesses, the White House plan encourages entertainment venues like sports arenas and concert halls to require that patrons show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter.
The plan also calls on state officials to make vaccinations mandatory for teachers and school staff. Currently, nine states, in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have vaccination requirements for K-12 educators. And the Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations in Head Start Programs, as well as schools run by the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Education.
Here’s what you need to know about who’s required to get COVID vaccines under the new administration plan, as well as the latest onand .
Who falls under the new federal vaccine mandate?
Announcing “a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated to combat those blocking public health,” Biden rolled out his administration’s “Path out of the Pandemic” program, which aims to increase the vaccination rate by requiring shots across public and private sectors. Roughly 80 million Americans who are eligible for the COVID vaccine have not been vaccinated.
Here’s who would be required to be vaccinated under the plan:
- Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to have their employees either be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly to come to work. Biden said OSHA, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, would implement the requirements that would affect more than 80 million workers.
- Federal workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government will be required to be vaccinated.
- Workers in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including hospitals and home health agencies, will also have to be fully vaccinated.
The president also called on entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter their facilities.
In response, Republican governors are threatening to fight the administration’s new policies.
What companies and businesses are implementing vaccine mandates for employees?
Several companies have announced plans for mandatory vaccinations, including airlines, cruise lines, concert halls, health care facilities and restaurants. Some of the requirements may include mask and testing guidelines, and some may only apply to employees doing international travel, working in the office or having face-to-face interaction with customers. If any of these apply to you, check with your employer for more details.
Here are just a few companies that announced vaccination requirements for employees:
- Tyson Foods
- United Airlines
What about vaccine mandates for the US military and police?
Last month, the Pentagon said that all 1.3 million active-duty service members will need to be vaccinated. The directive covers all members of the Armed Forces on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard. The Department of Defense will make Pfizer shots accessible on bases around the world. Service members who have received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will still be considered fully vaccinated. There are some exemptions, including one for religious reasons, but it isn’t granted frequently.
In response to several cities requiring law enforcement officers get vaccinated, police associations have come out openly against vaccine mandates. In Oregon, for example, police and firefighter associations are suing to block a state vaccine requirement.
What about vaccination mandates in cities, states and universities?
Several states, including California and New York, require state employees to be vaccinated. Additionally, several cities, like New York City and San Francisco. require proof of vaccination for inside dining, gyms and other indoor activities and settings.
Some nine states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have vaccination requirements for staff in K-12 schools.
More than 400 colleges and universities are also requiring vaccines for students who plan to take in-person classes.
Are other vaccines mandated?
Yes. A federal vaccine mandate is not new. In 1977, for example, the federal government began an initiative to vaccinate up to 90% of the nation’s children against seven diseases:
All 50 states require specified vaccines for students, with exemptions varying from state to state. And most school requirements follow the CDC’s vaccine schedule for children.
Which states are banning vaccine requirements?
At least 20 states, including Arkansas, Florida and Texas, prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements. That means businesses, schools and local government institutions can’t enforce a vaccine mandate (the same goes for ). The prohibitions came into effect through either legislation or executive orders.
Some governors are trying to prevent private employers, as well as the state, from requiring vaccines, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. Some are also trying to prevent use of , which show proof you’ve been vaccinated against coronavirus.
For more information, here’s what to know aboutamong the fully vaccinated. Also, here’s what we know about the .
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.