U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a
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Consumer businesses have questions for President Joe Biden about his plan to increase vaccination rates.
On Thursday, Biden outlined a six-part plan to increase vaccination rates. His government will require federal employees to get vaccinated without the option of weekly Covid-19 tests. Biden also said he would ask the Department of Labor to enact a rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees to prescribe vaccines or require weekly tests.
New US Covid cases hit a seven-day moving average of 124,622 on Sunday, which is about 19% less than a week earlier, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Still, case numbers are near January levels, before Covid vaccines were available to most of the population.
The consumer brands association wrote a letter to Biden on Monday this included a “small sample” of the questions their members asked of the organization as they prepare for a vaccination mandate for their staff. The trading group represents consumer goods companies, including industry giants such as Coke, Procter & Gamble and General mills, as well as retailers Amazon, Albertsons and target.
The trade group’s questions to Biden cover a number of concerns: Does an employee need to be fully vaccinated to work? Do the requirements only apply to vaccines that are fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration? What are the consequences of falsifying the vaccination or test status and is the responsibility with the individual or the employer? Are waivers permitted if the absence or fluctuation of key employees leads to significant disruptions in the CPG supply chain?
“The Consumer Brands Association and our member companies stand ready to work with you to get Americans vaccinated,” the group’s CEO Geoff Freeman wrote in the letter. “Strong, consistent collaboration between the private and public sectors on implementation will accelerate progress towards our common goal.”
The proposed mandate comes at a difficult time for these employers, who are experiencing sluggish hiring trends. In August, the consumer goods industry only created 6,000 jobs, well below need to keep pace with demand. Many companies have held back from implementing internal vaccination regulations for their workforce in order to avoid leaving unvaccinated workers.