On January 4, millions of workers in the United States have a deadline for COVID vaccinations.
On Thursday, the federal government announced new vaccine requirements for workers in companies with more than 100 employees, as well as for healthcare workers who treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. He also extended the deadline for federal contractors.
The Biden administration says 70% of all American adults are now fully vaccinated. The new rules target tens of millions of unvaccinated people.
Here are the main takeaways:
WHAT SHOULD COMPANIES DO?
Companies with 100 or more employees must require these workers to get fully vaccinated – two shots of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one Johnson & Johnson vaccine – by January 4th. After that date, any employee who is not vaccinated must submit a verified negative COVID test weekly. Companies are not required to pay for these tests. Unvaccinated employees must also wear masks.
WILL GET WORKING TIME FOR VACCINATION?
Starting December 5, employers must provide workers with paid vaccination leave and sick leave if workers experience vaccine side effects.
HOW WILL IT BE TAKEN?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (HSE) will help companies develop a vaccination plan. This will also enforce the rules. Penalties for non-compliance will depend on the size of the company and other factors. The company may have to pay up to $ 13,653 for each violator or up to $ 136,532 for a willful rule violation.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS?
Healthcare workers who treat Medicaid and Medicare patients must be fully vaccinated by January 4th. There is no weekly testing option for these workers, but they can request exemptions for religious or medical reasons. The mandate will cover about 17 million healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing homes, surgical centers and other institutions.
WHAT ABOUT THE FEDERAL CONTRACTORS?
In September, the Biden administration said it would require federal contractor employees to get vaccinated by December 8th. On Thursday, the government postponed this deadline to January 4.