COVID-19 Vaccinations in the US

COVID-19: US set to implement January 4 deadline for vaccine mandates ─White House

*The United States Government discloses the new vaccine policies will cover Federal workers, healthcare workers, and larger employers in line with the Joe Biden administration’s January 4, 2022 deadline for vaccinations in the country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The White House, in Washington, United States (US) apparently, is not ready to back down on its crusade against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as the government plans to require the federal contractors, healthcare workers, and larger employers to get  vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

ConsumerConnect reports US President Joe Biden, who restated this move recently, announced new vaccine policies in the country’s effort at increasing the vaccination rate as high as possible.

The White House in Washington, and United States President Joe Biden (Inset)

In terms of implementation, the latest Biden administration’s rules zero in on Federal contractors, healthcare workers, and larger employers, requiring that they all be vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

President Biden rolled out his first wave of vaccination requirements for Federal employees and contractors July 2021.

At the time, the US President urged employers to follow suit.

The White House said: “Thousands of organisations across the country have answered the President’s call, and vaccination requirements have already helped reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by approximately 40 percent since July.

“More vaccinations are needed to save lives, protect the economy, and accelerate the path out of the pandemic.”

Highpoints of new vaccination rules

Employers with 100 or more employees. White House officials believe that increasing vaccination rates at larger employers is key to increasing the country’s overall vaccination rate, agency report stated.

By federal estimates, there are nearly 84 million vaccination opportunities within larger businesses.

The Biden administration says businesses with 100+ workers must guarantee that every single worker will be fully vaccinated, either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson, by January 4, 2022.

Workers who are not vaccinated will need to provide a verified negative test to their employer on at least a weekly basis, and employers will need to remove any worker from the workplace if they test positive for COVID-19, or are diagnosed with an infection by a health care provider.

The new rule also requires these employers to provide paid time off so employees can get vaccinated, and they must ensure that all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace.

Employers may also be required to pay for testing depending on other laws or collective bargaining agreements.

Healthcare workers. The vaccination mandate for healthcare workers will apply to over 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 healthcare facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centres, dialysis facilities, home health agencies, and long-term care facilities in the country.

Much like the rule for businesses, workers at healthcare facilities who participate in Medicare or Medicaid have to be fully vaccinated by January 4, report noted.

This applies to all workers regardless of whether their positions are clinical or non-clinical and whether they’re an employee, student, trainee, or volunteer.

It also includes individuals who provide treatment or other services for the facility under contract or other arrangements.

Federal employees. Federal employees and contractors will need to have their final vaccination dose just like the other workers affected by this change by January 4 next year.

Federal officials say they will not apply additional rules to Federal workers who are following mandate rules from agencies like OSHA and the CMS, which will be in charge of enforcing rules for larger employers and health care workers, respectively.

However, they say the Federal worker mandates “preempt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing.”

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