The initiative announced by President Biden aims to boost vaccination rates, increase testing and expand access to COVID-19 treatments in the US. This initiative was launched in the context of the rapid increase in the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in the past time along with the spread of the Delta variant.
Under the newly issued regulations, businesses with 100 or more employees will have to require employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly. The regulation will apply to 80 million private sector workers, and businesses that violate it could be fined up to $14,000 each.
In addition, employees at about 50,000 health facilities that are reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid health plans will also be required to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, all federal employees working for the government or government contractors, about 100 million people, will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccination.
Although 208 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine to date and more than 177 million are fully vaccinated, the number of new infections in the United States has increased significantly over the past time, with an average daily 140,000 cases and 1,000 deaths.
The US has now recorded 40 million cases and 650,000 deaths from COVID-19, the most in the world since the outbreak of the disease.