Biden Implements Vaccination for Millions of Workers: Employers and Opposition React Angry
Tens of millions of American workers must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022. Employees who refuse must be tested at least once a week. President Joe Biden’s cabinet announced this on Thursday.
Employees of companies larger than 100 persons, employees of federal government services and all healthcare personnel in the United States are now required to be vaccinated. They must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, either with two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or with one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Employees who refuse should be tested at least once a week, Biden said.
The vaccination requirement is one of the most drastic measures the US government has already taken to limit the further spread of the virus. Biden had already unveiled the measure in September, during a speech at the White House. He believes it is an opportunity to “turn a page” in the fight against the pandemic and boost economic recovery.
However, many American companies express their incomprehension, the New York Times writes. There was also a lot of uncertainty, including about who should pay for the tests. New guidelines released by the US Occupational Safety and Hygiene Department (OSHA) on Thursday clarify: employers must give their employees paid leave to get vaccinated, and if necessary, also paid sick leave for possible side effects. However, they are not obliged to provide the tests themselves, nor to pay for them.
The measure also met with protest from the Republican opposition. She calls Biden’s policies a “dictatorship” and disagrees with the way he takes away individual liberties from citizens. Several US states, including Texas, have also previously banned a possible vaccination requirement on their territory.