WASHINGTON — Millions of U.S. government workers, contractors, and healthcare workers will be required to get vaccinated under a new national strategy to combat COVID-19. In addition, businesses with 100 or more employees will now be required to ensure that every worker is either vaccinated or submits to weekly testing.
During a major address Thursday afternoon, President Joe Biden laid out those and other new rules as part of a strategy to bring the surging coronavirus under control.
“We’re in a tough stretch, and it could last for a while,” Biden said, but he added, “We can and we will turn the tide on COVID-19.”
The move comes as the delta variant is causing cases, hospitalizations and deaths to rise across the country.
The President’s plan builds on the existing requirement for nursing home workers to get vaccinated and extends to over 17 million healthcare workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals.
The new federal employee vaccine requirement will affect thousands of employees in Washington D.C. and many states like Georgia with a large federal government presence, including military installations. About 72,000 federal employees live in Georgia.
In total, the President said the six-pronged strategy would affect some 100 million Americans.