President Joe Biden urged companies to issue vaccine mandates. The Food and Drug Administration fully approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. It okayed the two-dose vaccine to prevent COVID-19 for Americans aged 16 and above.
Biden Called On Companies To Issue Vaccine Mandates
Yesterday at the White House, Biden called on private employers to help. He asked them to increase the number of Americans getting a vaccination against COVID-19. Biden hopes the FDA approval gives weight to his recommendation. He called on companies to “step up the vaccine requirements that will reach millions of more people.”
Biden’s message last Monday delivered a more direct approach. He wants employers to play a bigger role in ensuring that American workers get vaccines. “If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader who has been waiting on full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that. Require it,” he emphasized.
US Vaccination Rate Lower Than Expected
Currently, around 70% of Americans already received at least one shot of COVID vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 60% are fully vaccinated. The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is the first COVID vaccine to get full approval from the FDA.
Many public health experts hope that a full FDA approval can convince Americans to trust the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety and efficacy. They also hope that many employers will now find it easier to issue vaccine mandates if the vaccine comes with full approval instead of emergency use authorization.
Update From The Editor: Sleepy Joe Biden Urges Americans to Mask Indoors as Omicron Variant Looms
Armed Forces and Federal Agencies and To Issue Vaccine Mandates
Meanwhile, government agencies and the military can now issue vaccine mandates. They will now push for a government-approved vaccine. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby announced that the agency will issue new guidance.
Earlier last month, Biden announced a mask mandate and proof of vaccination for all federal employees and contractors. Refusal to get a vaccine or lack of proof will subject employees to frequent COVID tests to check for the virus.
Meanwhile, private companies quickly moved to issue vaccine mandates for workers. However, some state Republicans opposed the moves and questioned the legality.
Can Employers Issue Vaccine Mandates?
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, private firms can require vaccinations. The FDA approval can make a convincing argument for safety and effectiveness. However, it’s not a requirement for employers. Federal courts previously ruled that employers can require vaccines, even under emergency authorization.
However, a wholesale vaccine mandate from the government remains out of the question. Biden himself said he doesn’t have the power to issue a nationwide vaccine mandate. Instead, he asked employers and government agencies to do so.
Biden Hopes Full Approval Helps Employers
Meanwhile, the FDA’s full approval of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine is just the start of a series of approvals for anti-COVID medication. Hopefully, Biden hopes it can nudge employers to be more confident in issuing vaccine mandates.
At the same time, workers may find it easier to trust a government-backed vaccine over one approved for emergency use only.
Watch the ABC News video reporting President Joe Biden Biden is encouraging companies to mandate vaccinations after FDA approval:
Do you agree that companies should issue vaccine mandates? Should a worker’s employment depend on their vaccine status? Or, should the matter remain a personal choice?
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