Millions of U.S. workers now have a January 4 deadline to receive a COVID vaccine.
The federal government on Thursday announced new vaccine requirements for workers at companies with more than 100 employees and also for health care workers who treat patients on Medicare and Medicaid. It also extended a deadline for federal contractors.
The Biden administration says 70% of all adult Americans are now fully vaccinated. The new rules target the tens of millions who remain unvaccinated.
Here are the main assumptions:
WHAT SHOULD COMPROMISES DO?
Companies with 100 or more employees must require those workers to be fully vaccinated – with two shots of the Modern or Pfizer vaccines, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4th. After that date, every employee who remains unvaccinated must provide a controlled negative COVID test weekly. Companies don’t have to pay for those tests. Unvaccinated employees must also wear masks.
WILL WORKERS HAVE TIME TO BE VACCINATED?
As of December 5, employers must offer paid leave for workers to be vaccinated and sick leave if workers experience vaccine side effects.
HOW WILL THIS BE EFFORTED?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will assist companies with vaccination plans. It will also comply with the rules. Fines for non-compliance vary depending on company size and other factors. A company may have to pay up to $ 13,653 for an individual violator or up to $ 136,532 for intentional violation of the rules.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR HEALTHY ORGANISTS?
Healthcare workers treating Medicaid and Medicare patients must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4. There is no weekly test option for these workers, but they may apply for religious or medical exemptions. The mandate will cover about 17 million health workers in hospitals, nursing homes, surgical centers and other facilities.
WHAT ABOUT FEDERAL CONTRACTS?
In September, the Biden administration said it would require employees at federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8. On Thursday, the government postponed that deadline to January 4th.