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Biden announces COVID-19 vaccine mandates that will affect 80 million workers

The Department of Labor is developing a rule that'll require employers with 100 or more workers to mandate vaccinations, or implement weekly testing.

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President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates are extending to the private sector. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is drafting a rule that'll make all businesses with 100 or more employees require COVID-19 vaccinations for staff, or require unvaccinated workers to show a negative test at least once a week. This'll impact more than 80 million workers in private sector businesses, The White House said in a statement Thursday.

"Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this -- United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Foods and even Fox News," President Joe Biden said during a press conference Thursday. "We're going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We're going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America."

In addition, OSHA is developing a rule requiring employers with more than 100 workers to offer paid time off to allow employees to get vaccinated or to recover if they're facing any vaccine side effects

Biden also said he's signed an executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccines for all federal executive branch employees and employees of contractors with the federal government. 

The requirements come after Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration late last month. The vaccine was previously being given under an emergency use authorization, which is still in place for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Around 75% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

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.