The President of the United States, Joe Biden, will announce measures to encourage the vaccination of the most reluctant: he will ask vaccination certificate to all federal public employees. Those who do not have it will have to undergo periodic tests, travel restrictions, social distancing and use of face masks. The announcement, expected this afternoon, comes amid a national outbreak of coronavirus caused by the Delta variant.
“The pandemic we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” the president said yesterday during a visit to a truck factory in Pennsylvania, where he implored people to get immunized.
According to the US government, the new rules do not imply the obligation to get vaccinated for federal employees as those who choose not to do so run no risk of being fired. Biden hopes the initiative will serve as an example for other employers, CNN reported.
The new policy is an acknowledgment by Biden that the federal government, as the nation’s largest employer, should make every effort to increase vaccination rates against the coronavirus now that cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again, powered by the Delta variant.
The Democratic president, who could not fulfill his promise to vaccinate 70 percent of adults with at least one dose by July 4, the date of the country’s independence, blamed the virus’ resurgence on the fact that many people do not want to be vaccinated.
Measures to encourage vaccination
CNN and other media said that the measures were still being studied until last night, and that it was not yet clear if the requirement to be vaccinated will include the Army and state providers. The announcement will be part of a broader speech scheduled for this afternoon in which Biden will explain “the next steps in the effort to get more Americans vaccinated.”
On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first ministry and the first federal agency in require vaccination of their health workers.
A day later, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed its mask guidelines and said everyone Inhabitants of the country living in areas with considerable or high transmission of the virus should wear masks indoors, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated.
Vaccines in the United States
About 60 percent of adults residing in the United States are already fully vaccinated. Those immunized with one dose today are 69.3 percent.
The vaccination campaign has slowed drastically since April as demand dries up, due to a low acceptance of vaccines among the youngest sectors of the population and in the most conservative states, while the Delta variant is expanding and is already circulating in an uncontrolled manner in the 50 states of the country.
According to the latest polls, almost half of unvaccinated adults say they will not, and more than a third probably not either. Some states and cities in the country have already taken steps similar to those that Biden plans to announce.
The state of New York yesterday provided mandatory vaccination for all health workers beginning in September and required that other state employees must show evidence that they are vaccinated or face regular virus testing.
Earlier this week, California and New York City announced that public workers would need to be inoculated or tested weekly.