COVID-19 vaccine mandate: Here’s the latest on who’s required to have proof of vaccination

Federal and local vaccine mandates are slated to kick in shortly across the US. Los Angeles, for example, approved its strictest COVID-19 vaccination mandate yet, which will require people age 12 and older to be fully vaccinated before entering public indoor places, starting Nov. 4. While a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel is probably not near, in California, a judge ordered vaccine mandates for prison guards and staff. California Gov. Gavin Newsom says all students, elementary through high school, will be required to get the shot once it’s fully approved for those age groups. (Currently, Pfizer’s full approval extends to those 16 years and older.)

So far, the mandates are working as more people are getting vaccinated. For example, meat processor Tyson Foods now has a 91% vaccination rate among its employees. New York teachers have reached a 96% vaccination rate. But there’s also opposition from some groups: A New York state mandate that all health care workers be vaccinated, with no religious exemptions, has sparked multiple legal challenges and fear of staffing shortages. Some students have reportedly withdrawn from college due to the mandates.

President Joe Biden is seeking to put pressure on about 80 million more Americans to get vaccinated. Roughly 1 in 500 people in the US have died from COVID-19, and vaccination rates have slowed despite the uptick in delta variant cases. Meanwhile, more than 98% of people hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis between June and August this year were unvaccinated.

We’ll explain who’s required to get COVID-19 vaccines under the new administration plan. If you’re already fully vaccinated and waiting to get a booster shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee has recommended one for those at high risk. Also, here’s the latest on retrieving your vaccination card if you lost it and vaccines for kids.

Everyone affected by the COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Announcing “a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated to combat those blocking public health,” Biden rolled out his administration’s Path Out of the Pandemic program, which aims to increase the vaccination rate by requiring shots across public and private sectors. Roughly 80 million Americans who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine have not been vaccinated. And as of July, 99% of COVID deaths were among the unvaccinated, who also make up 97% of hospitalizations.

Here’s who’s required to be vaccinated under the plan:

  • Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to have their employees either be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly to come to work. Biden said the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would implement the requirements that would affect more than 80 million workers.
  • Federal workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government will be required to be vaccinated.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations in Head Start Programs, as well as schools run by the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Education.
  • Workers in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including hospitals and home health agencies, will also have to be fully vaccinated.
  • Individuals applying to become lawful permanent US residents must be fully vaccinated, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Sept. 14.

The strategy also calls on state officials to make vaccinations mandatory for teachers and school staff. And the president called on entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter their facilities. The administration is also upping fines for those who fail to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses…Read more>>