The federal workers’ requirement has been blocked by federal courts through January 2022, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eases mandate for international travelers Last week, anyone who received a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after August 16 considered getting it done. However, last year the Supreme Court declined a challenge to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for health workers.
“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces, including those in the health care and education sectors, protecting themselves and the population,” a White House statement said. “…we also implement vaccination requirements for some international travelers to slow the spread of the new variant entering the country.”
Tennis star Novak Djokovic was trapped by the requirements for international travelers, who has not been vaccinated and was forced to skip several US tennis tournaments. The episode became the subject of political discussion: Florida Govt. Ron DeSantis (R) said he would be willing to bring Djokovic to Florida via boat for the Miami Open this year in an attempt to circumvent the requirements.
According to the White House statement, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security will begin their processes to eliminate vaccination requirements for Head Start teachers, employees of health care facilities taking Medicare and Medicaid, and certain non-citizens at the land border .
Public health experts had fought for the requirements in 2021, saying they were necessary to counter vaccine hesitancy and increase protection against a virus linked to thousands of deaths per month.
“Patients should not have to worry that their stay in the hospital puts them at risk of serious illness. The best way to do this is to ensure that everyone who comes in contact with patients is vaccinated,” Ashish Jha , who later became the Biden administration’s coronavirus coordinator, wrote in an op-ed In The Washington Post in July 2021.
But the requirements — which were mirrored by mandates from local officials and businesses alike — prompted resistance, with some federal employees, health care workers and other individuals and groups filing lawsuits to fight the rules, or being fired for refusing to comply. Vaccines also proved unable to prevent infection and transmission as the virus evolved, and public health experts have acknowledged this. pre infection — not just vaccination — may provide protection against COVID.
“There is no longer a need to continue with the vaccine mandate. Our country is in a very different place, Katie Smith Sloan, president and chief executive of LeadingEdge, an organization representing nonprofit long-term care providers, said in a statement. “And, whether the mandate goes into effect or not, there is no doubt that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and the best defense we have against the virus.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81 percent of Americans have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, although interest in the vaccine and its boosters has waned over time; Fewer than 17 percent of Americans have received the most recent bivalent booster shot.
Rachel Rubin contributed to this report.