Biden issues new vaccine mandates nationwide, including for companies with 100+ employees

September 9, 2021 | 7:03 pm

Updated September 9, 2021 | 8:33 pm

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden announced new vaccine requirements to curb the latest surge in COVID-19 nationwide, including mandating that employers with 100 or more employees require them to be vaccinated or be tested for the virus weekly.

Biden announced the new requirements in a Thursday afternoon address from the White House.

Employees that choose not to take the vaccine are to show a negative test result at least once a week. Employers with 100 or more employees will also be required to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated.

Biden is also requiring vaccination for executive branch employees, as well as contractors who do business with the federal government, with no option to test out.

Health care workers at facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid must also be fully vaccinated. That expanding on a requirement issued earlier this year to now include hospitals, home care facilities and dialysis centers around the country.

These requirements could affect as many as 100 million Americans.

Owensboro’s largest employers include such as Owensboro Health, U.S. Bank Home Mortagage, Specialty Food Group, and Toyotetsu Mid-America.

The decision was prompted after the high levels of the Delta variant in the country and also the high contagion levels of the variant. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, formed on Jan. 20, will be issuing guidance within the next week prompting the implementation of the requirement for all government agencies.

“I have determined that to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees, subject to such exceptions as required by law,” Biden said.

With information from the Food and Drug Administration, Biden said this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated people in the country. He criticized the roughly 80 million people unvaccinated.

“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said.

He noted that the vaccines provide strong protection against the virus and the risk of severe illness — such as hospitalization or death — is very low.

Currently, the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine while two others, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) are authorized for emergency use.

September 9, 2021 | 7:03 pm

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