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6 Things to Know About Federal Vaccine Mandates

By September 24, 2021Article

6 Things to Know About Federal Vaccine Mandates

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In September 2021, the Biden administration announced a vaccine mandate that will affect 100 million US workers. 

The Biden administration has enacted regulatory powers and other methods to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans and control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These regulations act alongside vaccine mandates that employers, school districts, and governments have already put into place across the country. 

New federal actions on vaccine mandates are as follows:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor (DOL), has been asked to institute an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that requires all US employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require workers to test negative weekly. The rule is currently being written but is expected to go into effect within the next month. The deadline for workers to be vaccinated will likely be 75 days after this rule goes into effect. (Source: White House plan, Reuters)
  • All federal workers and contractors that do business with the federal government will be required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. This includes the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and National Institute of Health. Federal workers have roughly 75 days (as of 9/13) to get vaccinated. (Source: White House plan)
  • Vaccinations will be required for all healthcare workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals. The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) is instituting an Interim Final Rule in October that will officially list the deadline (Source: CMS website). 
  • Employers are to be required to give employees paid time off to receive their shots. (Source: WH Plan)
  • Businesses and organizations that do not comply with these regulations could be subject to fines or other penalties (Source: White House Plan). 
  • The President has also called upon large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry (White House Plan).

The COVID-19 vaccines have been available to the public since April 16, 2021. However, according to the White House, nearly 74 million eligible Americans, about 28% of the total population, have not received their first shot. These policies are designed to reduce the number of unvaccinated people and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

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