Joe Biden, President, United States has come up with new federal covid-19 vaccine requirements as the United States struggle to contain the Delta variant of covid-19, which is highly infectious in nature. These requirements call for compulsory vaccinations of federal government employees and of large private sector companies. The process will be followed by a booster shot campaign against the Delta variant, which is also highly transmissible besides being highly infectious. Biden has also emphasized on strengthening mask requirements for interstate travel and in federal buildings backed by lower-cost at-home COVID tests among others. The booster short campaign will begin around September 20, after getting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Who will get affected?
The mandate will be applicable to all the employers with more than 100 workers. All large businesses in the country should ensure vaccination of their workers or be tested for the coronavirus on a weekly basis, said Biden. Not just this, the companies will have to provide paid time off to get their vaccines. Same applies for the federal government as well including those who work with the executive branch and as contractors for the federal government.
Workers associated with healthcare facilities that received federal Medicare will also need to be fully vaccinated. Biden has urged governors to make vaccination compulsory for the school district employees as well. He also announced that free COVID testing will be available to more than 10,000 pharmacies. The at-home covid tests will be offered at Amazon, Walmart and Kroger and that too at a lower cost.
How are people responding to the new vaccine mandate?
The new vaccine mandate has received mixed responses, with many Republican members calling the move “unconstitutional” and “un-American”. They also said that they are planning to sue the Biden administration. Tate Reeves, Republican governor, Mississippi said that the vaccine is life saving in itself and that the move is unconstitutional and terrifying. Reeves further took to Twitter and wrote that we as Americans believe in the freedom from Tyrants.
Meanwhile, businesses, manufacturers associations and tech companies have so far welcomed the move. Association leaders, owing to the months of pandemic induced economic losses and disruptions, said that they will be working in unison with the President to help implement the mandate in the United States.