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Biden Unveils COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Hospitals, Federal Employees, Businesses

Vaccines to be required for 17 million health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities

September 09, 2021

This evening, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping strategy to combat COVID-19, including new vaccine mandates for staff at health care facilities, large businesses, and federal employees.

In his speech, Biden said the rise of the Delta variant required additional action to limit the spread of the virus and reach nearly 80 million eligible Americans who remain unvaccinated. Biden will issue several executive orders and other federal rules as part of the vaccine mandate.

“We can and we will turn the tide on COVID-19,” President Biden said during the address.

The White House’s new COVID-19 action plan includes:

  • Health care mandate:  Staff at hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Federal workforce:   Executive branch workers and contractors will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. There will be no opt-out option for workers who would prefer to be regularly tested instead of getting vaccinated
  • Large businesses:  Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or require testing at least once a week. Employers will be required to give paid time off for workers to get vaccinated
  • Booster doses:  A federal advisory committee will review the White House’s plan for the administration of COVID-19 booster doses next week
  • School safety:  The Biden Administration plans to provide funding for regular COVID-19 testing at schools and other initiatives to assist in the safe return to in-person instruction

The vaccine mandate for Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities will cover about 17 million health care workers, federal officials said. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected to develop an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period that will be issued during October.

HAP continues to monitor state and federal COVID-19 public health developments and will provide updates to members.