Biden Administration Publishes Vaccine Mandate for Large Businesses

November 4, 2021 by Dan McCue
Biden Administration Publishes Vaccine Mandate for Large Businesses
A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration rolled out a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate Thursday morning, giving large companies until Jan. 4 to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday night, a senior administration official said the sweeping new measure,  which is scheduled to be published in Friday’s Federal Register, will apply to about 84 million private sector workers.

The new rule will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, and mandates at least weekly testing for unvaccinated employees after that.

The OSHA rule will also require that these employers provide paid-time for employees to get vaccinated, and ensure all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace.

In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced details of its requirement that health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid are fully vaccinated. 

The rule applies to more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 health care facilities, including hospitals and long-term care facilities, the White House said.

The administration has previously implemented policies requiring millions of federal employees and federal contractors to be fully vaccinated.

“While we are encouraged to know that vaccination requirements have already helped cut the number of unvaccinated Americans by nearly 40%, it’s important to understand that there are still so many workers who are not protected and remain at risk from becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19,” the administration official said.

“OSHA estimates that this rule will save thousands of lives and prevent over 250,000 hospitalizations during the six months after implementation,” the official continued.

A number of major companies have already embraced COVID-19 vaccination policies similar to those imposed by the Biden administration, seeing them as a corporate responsibility.

Others have moved more slowly, waiting for clarification from the government on how they should proceed, who will pay for testing, and how the rules apply to the large number of people who are now working from home for these companies.

The Federal Register listing, which clocks in at 490 pages, is expected to answer many of these questions.

And while the mandate takes effect immediately, it serves as a proposal for a final standard that could extend the vaccine requirements to smaller businesses. 

That means OSHA is soliciting comment on a number of questions, including: Have you instituted vaccination mandates (with or without alternatives), or requirements for regular COVID-19 testing or face covering use? What have been the benefits of your approach? What challenges have you had or could you foresee in implementing such programs? Is there anything specific to your industry, or the size of your business, that poses particular obstacles in implementing the requirements in this standard? How much time would it take, what types of costs would you incur, and how much would it cost for you to implement such requirements?

A senior administration official said OSHA will  offer compliance assistance to businesses implementing the new standard beginning Thursday, including sample plans, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and other materials.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • employers
  • large companies
  • OSHA
  • vaccine mandates
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Health

    April 20, 2024
    by Jesse Zucker
    Earth Day Raises Awareness of Environmental Impacts on Health and Wellness

    WASHINGTON — As plants, trees and flowers continue to greet the season, one month into spring marks a worldwide occasion:... Read More

    WASHINGTON — As plants, trees and flowers continue to greet the season, one month into spring marks a worldwide occasion: Earth Day. Earth Day has been observed on April 22 every year since 1970 as a global moment to raise environmental awareness. Let’s look at a... Read More

    EPA Designates Two Forever Chemicals as Hazardous Substances, Eligible for Superfund Cleanup

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday designated two forever chemicals that have been used in cookware, carpets and firefighting... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday designated two forever chemicals that have been used in cookware, carpets and firefighting foams as hazardous substances, an action intended to ensure quicker cleanup of the toxic compounds and require industries and others responsible for contamination to pay for... Read More

    April 18, 2024
    by Beth McCue
    Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Fresh Basil 

    ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued a food safety alert regarding Infinite Herbs organic... Read More

    ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued a food safety alert regarding Infinite Herbs organic basil. As of the alert, 12 Salmonella cases in seven states have been reported. There are no reported deaths. The basil was sold at Trader Joe’s... Read More

    April 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Eli Lilly Obesity Drug Appears to Ease Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Trials

    WASHINGTON — A pair of yearlong clinical trials conducted by the drug maker Eli Lilly appear to show that its... Read More

    WASHINGTON — A pair of yearlong clinical trials conducted by the drug maker Eli Lilly appear to show that its obesity drug, Zepbound, can provide considerable relief to overweight people who have sleep apnea. Though the findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical... Read More

    Idaho's Ban on Youth Gender-Affirming Care Has Families Desperately Scrambling for Solutions

    Forced to hide her true self, Joe Horras’ transgender daughter struggled with depression and anxiety until three years ago, when... Read More

    Forced to hide her true self, Joe Horras’ transgender daughter struggled with depression and anxiety until three years ago, when she began to take medication to block the onset of puberty. The gender-affirming treatment helped the now-16-year-old find happiness again, her father said. A decision by the... Read More

    Weedkiller Manufacturer Seeks Lawmakers' Help to Squelch Claims It Failed to Warn About Cancer

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Stung by paying billions of dollars for settlements and trials, chemical giant Bayer has been... Read More

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Stung by paying billions of dollars for settlements and trials, chemical giant Bayer has been lobbying lawmakers in three states to pass bills providing it a legal shield from lawsuits that claim its popular weedkiller Roundup causes cancer. Nearly identical bills... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top