In early September 2021, President Joe Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic Plan which included vaccine requirements for working Americans. So, will you need a COVID shot to stay employed? Here’s how the current vaccine mandate could impact your job.
The Vaccine Mandate Probably Will Impact…
The Vaccinating the Unvaccinated portion of Biden’s plan has several parts. Depending on your industry and the size of your company, this may or may not affect you. The plan specifically mentions:
- Federal Workers and Contractors
All federal workers, as well as employees of contractors that do business with the federal government, must be vaccinated. This extends to multiple departments including the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health.
- Health Care Workers at Medicare and Medicaid Participating Facilities
Staff working for health care organizations that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government must be vaccinated. This includes hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and more. These requirements apply not only to clinical staff but also to volunteers and individuals not involved in patient care.
- Employees at Companies with 100+ Workers
Companies with 100 or more employees must either require vaccination or ask unvaccinated workers to undergo weekly testing. This rule will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses.
What If My State Banned Vaccine Mandates?
A handful of states, such as Georgia, New Hampshire, and Utah, have passed laws banning various forms of vaccine mandates. In many cases, this has created a conflict between state and federal laws. For example, in late September 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called federal vaccination mandates, “a massive federal government overreach.” Kemp is planning to file lawsuits. However, so far, courts have ruled in favor of vaccinations.
Can I Ask for an Exemption?
It’s difficult, but not necessarily impossible, to receive an exemption. Medical exemptions are reserved for those who had a severe allergic reaction to the first shot. To receive a religious exemption, you must prove getting vaccinated interferes with your “sincerely held religious beliefs.” If you haven’t opposed other vaccinations in the past, your company may not honor your request. Nevertheless, if you still feel strongly, consider having a conversation with your employer. If they aren’t subject to federal and/or state regulations, they may be willing to comprise. For instance, you could undergo weekly COVID testing instead of getting the vaccine.
If I DO Need to Get a Shot… Which One Is Best?
Earlier this year, medical professionals encouraged everyone to get “whichever shot was available.” Now, with increased supply, you can learn more about AND choose between the three approved and authorized vaccines in the U.S. Once you’ve decided which would be best for you, visit Vaccines.gov to easily find vaccines by location and type.
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