The Department of Justice recently decided that federal law doesn’t block public or private organizations from requiring COVID-19 vaccines.
Following that decision, a growing number of organizations are beginning to mandate COVID-19 vaccines. The Department of Veteran Affairs became the first federal agency to do so. That decision will require full vaccination for some 115,000 workers. The Department is allowing employees eight weeks to comply. The government agency reported in a press release that four of its employees had died from COVID-19. All of them were unvaccinated.
President Biden is reportedly mulling a vaccine mandate for all federal employees and contractors. The plan, however, would not coerce individuals into receiving COVID-19 vaccines, but require holdouts to submit to regular testing and mask requirements, according to CNN.
New York City has issued a similar mandate for its 340,000 municipal workers. The order doesn’t go into effect until Labor Day, which is Sept. 6.
California will also require that state employees either receive a COVID-19 vaccine or face weekly tests and in-door mask requirements. California is the first state to issue such a mandate.
The Service Employees International Union criticized California’s decision, saying it interfered with its member’s privacy.
Google recently announced that it would mandate vaccination for its in-person employees while also delaying its plans to reopen offices from September to mid-October.
United Airlines is also requiring COVID-19 vaccines for new hires. Some meat-processing plants have the same policy.
According to Jeffrey Zients, coordinator of the White House Covid-19 Response Team, some 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and death are attributable to unvaccinated people.
While many private sector companies are encouraging employees to get vaccinated, relatively few have enacted vaccine mandates. According the WSJ, many companies worry about the potential legal ramifications of such mandates.
France has also decided to require healthcare workers to get vaccinated.