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What you need to know about President Joe Biden’s new Covid vaccine mandates


Freeport, N.Y.: Daniel Merlos, 15, of Freeport, New York, is administered a Covid-19 vaccine at Freeport High School where Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital provided COVID-19 vaccinations to all eligible students, staff and community residents, on July 15, 2021.

Steve Pfost | Newsday | Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s latest vaccination push is the most aggressive effort yet by his administration to get the raging coronavirus pandemic under control.

Critics see the move by the president as a reversal of his previous promise to avoid vaccine mandates. Federal health officials, however, believe it is the next step in the fight against the highly contagious delta variant, which is killing more than 1,500 Americans every day, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, and filling hospitals in unvaccinated pockets of the country to the brim.

“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers,” Biden said Thursday in announcing the plan. “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.”

The multipronged approach affects hundreds of public and private companies and tens of millions of American workers. It mandates vaccines and eliminates testing options for federal government employees, including those in the health-care sector, and calls for stiff penalties for those who don’t comply.

Here’s what you need to know about Biden’s latest bid to get more Americans vaccinated.

Where vaccination is mandatory, with no testing option

Where vaccination or weekly testing is mandatory

Despite the broad scope of the president’s push, most U.S. workers, more than 80 million, will still have the option of proving they are not carrying the virus by submitting to weekly Covid tests.

To boost the pace of daily shots, which have slowed down after a spike in mid-August, the president ordered the Department of Labor to create a new rule requiring any company with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines for their employees or weekly Covid tests for workers who cite religious or health reasons for not getting vaccinated. However, those reasons for opting out are likely to be more scrutinized by employers going forward.

The new rule will be implemented by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. OSHA can issue an emergency temporary…



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What you need to know about President Joe Biden’s new Covid vaccine mandates

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