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COVID-19 vaccination. Photo: Getty Images
Fifty-three percent of U.S. citizens have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

COVID-19 vaccinations to be mandatory for federal employees

The new measures to encourage vaccination would affect about 100 million people.

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On Thursday, Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced new measures to try to expand the number of vaccinations against COVID-19 amid the increase in infections from the Delta variant that continues spreading in the country.

According to the president, the Department of Labor is preparing the mandate that would order all companies with more than 100 employees to also vaccinate or test their workers against the coronavirus on a weekly basis.

Likewise, the measure covers all federal employees and contractors that will need to be vaccinated or risk facing penalties, including losing their jobs.

Another group within Biden's mandate are the at least 17 million healthcare workers who work in institutions and hospitals where Medicaid and Medicare services are provided.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us," said Biden during his speech referring to the 80 million Americans who have not yet been vaccinated, even with all the incentives and relief that have been offered.

Since the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, some of large companies have already began requiring their workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The new government mandate is out to get both unvaccinated vaccinated and those with just one dose, a second one.

"Our overall goal here is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans," said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "We want to reduce that number, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, and allow our children to go to school safely."

Only 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated, a low figure considering the availability of vaccines in the country.

In recent weeks, new cases of COVID-19 have remained at an average of 140,000 per day, 300% more than in the same period of the previous year, and the daily death toll has remained at around a 1,000.

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