Federal and local vaccine mandates have been implemented in many organizations — and they’re working. For instance, Tyson Foods now has a 91% vaccination rate among its employees. New York City school teachers and staff now have to show proof that they’ve received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. In California, a judge ordered vaccine mandates for prison guards and staff, and Gov. Gavin Newsom says a school vaccine mandate is on the table.
But there’s also opposition: A New York state mandate that all health care workers be required to be vaccinated, with religious exemptions removed, has sparked multiple legal challenges and fear of staffing shortages. Some students have reportedly withdrawn from college due to the mandates.
President Joe Biden is seeking to put pressure on about 80 million Americans to get vaccinated. Roughly more than 98% of people hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis between June and August this year were unvaccinated.from COVID-19, and vaccination rates have slowed despite the uptick in cases. Meanwhile,
We’ll explain who’s required to get COVID-19 vaccines under the new administration plan. If you’re already fully vaccinated and waiting to get a, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee has . Also, here’s the latest on and .
Everyone affected by the COVID-19 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 a COVID-19 vaccine have not been vaccinated. And as of July,, who also make up 97% of hospitalizations.
Here’s who’s 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 the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would implement the requirements that would affect more than 80 million workers. Businesses are awaiting more details in a formal rule to be issued in coming weeks.
- Federal workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government will be required to be vaccinated.
- 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.
- Workers in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including hospitals and home health agencies, will also have to be fully vaccinated.
- Individuals applying to become lawful permanent US residents must be fully vaccinated effective Oct. 1, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Sept. 14.
The strategy also calls on state officials to make vaccinations mandatory for teachers and school staff. And the president called on entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter their facilities. The administration is also upping fines for those who fail to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses.
Who opposes the mandate?
Since the White House announced new federal received backlash from congressional Republicans, as well as state and local officials.mandates affecting roughly two-thirds of the US workforce, or up to 100 million people, it’s
Republican governors are threatening to fight the administration’s new policies. The senior Republican on the House of Representatives committee overseeing health policy, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, said Biden “is using fear, control and mandates.” The Republican National Committee has vowed to sue the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate.
A report from the CDC on Sept. 17 shows that unvaccinated people were over 10 times more likely to become hospitalized or die from COVID-19, according to data from April through July: “Getting vaccinated protects against severe illness from COVID-19, including the delta variant.”
Some companies that fall under the new vaccine mandate are facing challenges and questions about compliance and implementation of the policy, according to the Wall Street Journal. For example, businesses have to figure out who will be responsible for covering the cost of testing unvaccinated employees and whether they can authorize exemptions.
Companies with employee vaccination mandates
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 traveling internationally, working in the office or having face-to-face interactions with customers. If any of these apply to you, check with your employer for more details.
Here are some of the companies that have announced vaccination requirements for employees:
- Tyson Foods
- United Airlines
Vaccine mandates for those in the US military and police
In August, the Pentagon said that all 1.3 million active-duty service members will need to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The directive covers all active-duty members of the Armed Forces or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard. The Department of Defense will make Pfizer shots accessible on military installations around the world. Service members who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will still be considered fully vaccinated. There are some exemptions, including one for religious reasons, but they aren’t granted frequently.
In response to several cities requiring law enforcement officers to 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-level vaccine requirement.
Right now, members of the military are already required to get at least nine other vaccines — up to 17 total vaccines — depending on where they’re deployed.
Cities, states and universities that have vaccine mandates
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. Starting in October, Los Angeles County will require proof of vaccination to enter indoor bars, nightclubs, breweries and wineries.
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.
Other vaccines that are mandated in the US
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 specific vaccines for students, with exemptions varying from state to state. Most school requirements follow the CDC’s vaccine schedule for children.
States that are banning COVID-19 vaccination requirements
At least 20 states with Republican governors, 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 went 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 the use of , which show proof that you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
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.