Labor unions push White Home so as to add employee protections to Biden vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden watches as AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler speaks during an event honoring the unions in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2021.

Oliver Contraras | AP

Some of the largest unions in the country are urging the Biden government to expand its vaccine mandate to private companies to include additional protection for workers, including masking requirements and other safety measures to minimize the spread of Covid-19.

The AFL-CIO and about two dozen other major unions representing teachers, service workers, meat processors, auto and steel workers, spoke with the Biden government on an October 18 conference call with White House officials from the Office of Administration and Budget.

“We emphasized the importance of mitigation measures,” Rebecca Reindel, who represented the AFL-CIO on the call, told CNBC. “We really need to be one step ahead of the transmission part of the virus. It takes a while to get vaccinated – we need protection in the meantime, ”said Reindel.

Three of the largest unions, notably the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, told CNBC that they had asked the administration to expand worker protection and urged employers to stop ventilation improve and enforce the mask and social regulations distance. Reindel said companies should also be required to conduct a risk assessment in consultation with workers to determine what combination of mitigation measures are needed to best protect their employees in the workplace.

president Joe Biden ordered the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Department to draft a rule requiring private companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that they are all vaccinated or tested weekly Covid-19.

OMB and Labor Department officials have held dozens of calls and meetings with industry lobbyists over the past two weeks while OMB is reviewing the mandate, OMB records show. The vaccine and weekly testing requirements will go into effect shortly after the OMB review is complete.

The AFL-CIO has called for comprehensive measures to protect workers from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. However, OSHA, which oversees workplace safety, has not yet enacted broad-based Covid safety rules.

Instead, OSHA enacted Restrictions in summer limited to healthcare workers. Most healthcare providers have had to develop plans to mitigate the risk of Covid, ensure employees wear masks indoors that keep people 6 feet apart indoors, install barriers in workplaces when employees are less than 6 feet apart , and ensure adequate ventilation – including a number of other requirements.

The AFL-CIO and United Food and Commercial Workers sued the Biden government, arguing that the OSHA standard “does not protect employees outside the healthcare industry who are at a similarly grave risk from occupational exposure to COVID-19” . The unions specially quoted meat packaging, groceries, transportation and corrections as industries where workers need the Department of Labor to issue an enforceable safety standard for Covid.

The unions and the Ministry of Labor tabled a joint application in September pause the case until the vaccination and weekly test mandate is granted to the Biden administration. The court will ask the parties to submit a joint status report on Monday.

“The harsh reality is that current COVID safety guidelines just aren’t enough and have left millions of key workers to their own devices,” said Marc Perrone, President of United Food and Commercial Workers. said in August after OSHA issued voluntary guidelines recommending masks for vaccinated employees working in areas with high transmission. “What we need now is a clearly enforceable COVID safety standard in the workplace that will protect America’s vital workers who are still at the forefront of this deadly pandemic.”

Perrone said his union is now waiting to see if mitigation measures are included in the vaccine and testing mandate. “If we still have concerns, we will move on,” he said, referring to the trial. The group represents 1.3 million employees in the food, retail, meat packaging, food processing, cannabis, chemical and distillery sectors, including employees from Tysons Food, Kroger, Macy’s, Cargill and Pfizer. People in these industries are largely viewed as key frontline workers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The UFCW warned in a letter to the Department of Labor in August that vaccinations – even if important – cannot remove the danger posed by Covid to workers as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads the effectiveness of vaccines over time subsides and new mutations of the virus emerge.

The AFL-CIO, in a May report, found 1,833 Covid outbreaks, nearly 90,000 infections and 378 deaths in the meat packaging, food processing and agriculture industries from the start of the pandemic in April 2020 to April 2020. A report by the House Select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis found infections among meat packing workers almost three times as high as previously reported.

“There will be certain people who won’t take [the vaccine] and get tested, and if you don’t have mitigation measures like masks then you’re defeating your purpose, “Perrone told CNBC.

The Service Employees International Union asked the von Biden government in September to add additional protective measures to the vaccination mandate. The union represents 2 million workers in basic services such as janitorial, health and other professions.

“Layered mitigation measures, including but not limited to masking and distancing, as well as quarantine after exposure or positive testing, are still necessary to protect against outbreaks,” wrote Leslie Frane, the union’s executive vice-president, in a letter to the union in September OSHA chief James Frederick.

The SEIU and UFCW have also called for paid vacations for workers to get vaccinated and recover from the shot, paid vacations for workers to quarantine and recover from the virus, and free Covid tests for Workers with testing facilities at the workplace. The Biden government said in September that it would also require companies with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for vaccination and recovery.

The United Auto Workers declined to expressly comment on whether the vaccine and test mandate should include measures to contain Covid. The big three automakers have already implemented extensive security protocols against Covid. While the union is generally in favor of vaccination, it rejects it under federal or employer mandate. The union will review the vaccine and testing mandate when it is released, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg told CNBC.

“We’re waiting for the standards because we have over 700 contracts and we need to go through them and see how they affect our contracts,” he said.

Moderna says its Covid vaccine generates sturdy immune response in children 6 to 11

With husband Stephen by her side, Erin Shih hugs her children Avery 6 and Aidan 11 after receiving their second Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center on Friday, June 25, 2021.

Sarah Reingewirtz | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

Modern said Monday that in a study of children ages 6-11, a smaller dose of its Covid-19 vaccine is safe and produces a strong immune response.

Two 50-microgram doses of the vaccine, half the dose given in adults, resulted in antibody levels 1.5 times higher than in young adults, the company said in a press release, citing early data from a phase 2 / 3 study.

The syringes were generally well tolerated even in young children, according to the company, with the most common side effects being fatigue, headache, fever, and pain at the injection site. The vaccine has been tested on more than 4,700 children.

Moderna plans to submit the data to the Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and other health authorities “in the near future”.

“We look forward to filing with regulators worldwide and remain committed to doing our part in ending the COVID-19 pandemic with a vaccine for adults and children of all ages,” said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement.

The new data comes the day before an important FDA advisory committee meeting to discuss whether to make a recommendation Pfizer and BioNTech‘s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The FDA could approve the vaccinations within days of the meeting, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could approve them as soon as next week.

FDA staff said late Friday that Pfizer’s vaccine appears to be highly effective in preventing symptomatic infections in primary school children.

Many parents say they are careful to get their children vaccinated as the kids are entering the new school year and the Delta variant is still spilling across America. The number of new Covid cases in children remains exceptionally high with more than 1.1 million new child cases in the past six weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Covid vaccine boosters are actually out there. This is who’s eligible for Pfizer, Moderna and J&J’s pictures

A patient receives on 29.

Emily Elconin | Reuters

Nearly 100 million people across the country are immediately entitled to a Covid booster vaccination after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has additional doses of. have approved Modern and Johnson & Johnson‘s vaccines Thursday night.

The agency’s decision also allows fully immunized individuals to combine their booster vaccinations with doses from different manufacturers after research by the National Institutes of Health showed that combining and combining vaccines was safe and effective. Pfizer and BioNTech‘s boosters were largely released for use in the United States on September 24th.

About 11.6 million people across the country have already received their boosters, and CDC approvals have opened them up to tens of millions more people. But not everyone is eligible. Here’s who gets the extra doses in the U.S. based on their first round of shooting:

Pfizer-BioNTech

More than 47 million Pfizer vaccine recipients who received both vaccinations at least six months ago were eligible for a booster on Friday, according to data presented to the CDC’s advisory committee on Thursday. This contains:

  • Everyone who is 65 and older.
  • All adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who have cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and other conditions that make Covid complications more likely.
  • Anyone over the age of 18 who live or work in a long-term care facility, homeless shelter and prison or other community facility.
  • Frontline workers aged 18 and over who are at higher risk of Covid exposure due to their work, including first responders, teachers, supermarket workers and local transit workers.

Modern

According to the CDC presentation, more than 39.1 million Moderna vaccine recipients who received both vaccinations at least six months ago were able to receive a booster on Friday. The CDC has adopted the same criteria for Moderna recipients as Pfizer, as the two companies use the same mRNA technology in their Covid vaccines. They include.

  • Everyone who is 65 and older.
  • All adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who have cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and other conditions that make Covid complications more likely.
  • Anyone over the age of 18 who live or work in a long-term care facility, homeless shelter and prison or other community facility.
  • Frontline workers aged 18 and over who are at higher risk of Covid exposure due to their work, including first responders, teachers, supermarket workers and local transit workers.

Johnson & Johnson

The CDC has adopted slightly different criteria for J & J’s one-time Covid vaccine, making nearly 13 million recipients eligible as of Friday. This contains

  • All adults who were vaccinated with J & J’s Covid vaccine at least two months ago, instead of Pfizer and Moderna six months ago.
  • All adult J&J recipients are entitled to a booster vaccination, even if they do not have any underlying medical conditions or work or live in an occupation where there is a higher risk of Covid.

How BioNTech went from a little-known to creating Covid vaccine

It was January 24th, 2020 when BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin knew that Covid-19 was likely to turn into a global pandemic.

Although it took over a month and a half for the World Health Organization to officially declare a pandemic, Sahin met with his wife, BioNTech’s co-founder and chief medical officer, Özlem Türeci. Together they agreed to redirect most of the company’s resources to developing a vaccine.

“He came up to me and explained his thoughts and fears to me,” said Türeci. “And it was immediately clear to both of us that the technology that we have and that we have already developed clinically can contribute to a quick response.”

Until then, BioNTech mainly focused on developing novel cancer therapies. The company was little known internationally. However, the founders were convinced of the potential of their mRNA technology, which they knew could trigger a powerful immune response. BioNTech knew it would need a larger partner to successfully manufacture, test and manufacture a Covid vaccine on a global scale. The company already had a relationship with it Pfizerwho has worked with them since 2018 to develop an mRNA-based flu vaccine that is in clinical trials. So BioNTech reached out to them.

The companies succeeded in doing this. In August, the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine First to receive full FDA approval.

Watch the video to learn more about the rise of BioNTech.

Why a malaria vaccine in Africa may reignite the struggle in opposition to illness

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a press conference following a ceremony to mark the opening of the WHO academy in Lyon, France, Sept. 27, 2021.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

Policy makers and health professionals welcomed the WHO approval of the first malaria vaccine, which could be launched in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2022.

The WHO has a wider use of GSK‘s RTS, S malaria vaccine following pilot programs in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that have tracked 800,000 children since 2019.

Thomas Breuer, GSK’s chief global health officer, said the vaccine, which began development in 1987, “could reinvigorate the fight against malaria in the region at a time when advances in malaria control have stalled.”

Meanwhile, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the approval a “historic moment” and said it “changed the course of public health history”.

The British Health Secretary Sajid Javid called the approval an “excellent result for the continent’s public health and for British science”.

The vaccine, while the first ever approved, is still only 30% effective, requires four doses, and fades in months.

However, scientists hope the approval will mark a turning point in efforts to combat malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The region is responsible for the majority of the 400,000 malaria deaths worldwide each year.

Colin Sutherland, a professor of parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told CNBC Thursday that children from low-income families in areas with high transmission would typically have multiple attacks of malaria every rainy season or even year-round.

“The public health impact is therefore not only serious illness and, in a relatively small proportion, death, but also chronic or repeated infections that lead to anemia, fatigue, poor school attendance, limited learning opportunities and also impaired cognition,” said Sutherland.

“In this regard, a vaccine that provides three to six months of protection at 30% can have some very welcome public health benefits.”

A health worker vaccinates a child against malaria in Ndhiwa, Homabay County, western Kenya on September 13, 2019 during the introduction of the malaria vaccine in Kenya.

Brian Ongoro | AFP | Getty Images

Sutherland suggested that the breakthrough could help accelerate progress in the fight against malaria, provided that resources for management, prevention and control are continued in addition to vaccine development.

New data showed that RTS, S when combined with seasonal antimalarial drugs reduced clinical episodes, hospital stays, and deaths by approximately 70%.

Sutherland also said the long-term prospects for future malaria vaccines that use the same RNA-based technology that is used in the PfizerBioNTech and Modern Covid-19 vaccines are “excellent” and have opened a “very exciting path” in vaccine research.

“Pharma needs strong partnerships and incentives to work on tropical disease drug and vaccine development innovative funding mechanisms that draw academia, pharmacy, international charities and significant amounts of direct government funding (from UK, EU, US and other countries) are involved, “he emphasized.

“Therefore, it is imperative that government funding be maintained, especially in global healthcare where profits are small.”

Pfizer asks FDA to authorize Covid vaccine for teenagers ages 5 to 11

Jamie Blank (L) holds her son Ari Blank’s hand when he was born on Jan.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

Pfizer said Thursday it had asked the Food and Drug Administration to co-approve its Covid-19 vaccine BioNTech for children from 5 to 11 years.

The news couldn’t come sooner for parents anxious to get their children vaccinated as the kids start the new school year and the Delta variant spills across America. The stress has led to an increase in hospital admissions in the United States, including among young children that currently cannot be vaccinated.

Last month, Pfizer new data published This showed that a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms – one third of the dose used for adolescents and adults – is safe and elicits a “robust” immune response in a clinical study in young children. The syringes are well tolerated and have caused an immune response and side effects that are comparable to those observed in a study with 16 to 25 year olds.

Common side effects in teenagers and adults include fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, fever, and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company’s request on Thursday could mean the footage won’t be available until November, when the FDA spends as much time reviewing the data for this age group as it does for 12-15 year olds. Pfizer and BioNTech filed for expanded use of their adolescent syringe on April 9 and received FDA approval on May 10.

A key FDA vaccine advisory group is scheduled to meet on October 26th to discuss Pfizer’s data. The shots could be approved shortly after that meeting, depending on how fast the FDA and CDC move.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer’s board of directors and served as FDA commissioner in the Trump administration for two years, said CNBC last week that the recordings for young children could come by Halloween.

The FDA has a lot of experience with the Pfizer vaccine, noted Gottlieb, adding that the Covid vaccination is for young children the same two-dose regimen like adults, but given in smaller amounts. The agency has already approved the recordings for Americans aged 12 and over.

“I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that this could come out in October,” he said.

United Airways says 593 staff face termination for failing to adjust to vaccine mandate

United Airlines said Tuesday that 593 of its employees will be fired for non-compliance with the Covid-19 vaccination policy, one of the strictest vaccination regulations for any US company.

More than 96% of United’s 67,000 employees in the United States met vaccine requirements. The deadline for uploading vaccination records or first vaccination when receiving a two-dose vaccine was late Monday.

Around 2,000 United employees requested exemptions from the mandate the airline announced in the summer for religious or medical reasons. The Chicago-based airline had said that employees it grants such exemptions will be used temporary unpaid leave.

“And we know that this decision was hesitant for some. But we have no doubt that some of you will have avoided future hospitalization – or even death – because you got vaccinated, “said United CEO Scott Kirby and Company President Brett Hart said the Employees on Tuesday in a note.

Unvaccinated employees without an exception are threatened with dismissal, although this process can take weeks. “It was an incredibly difficult decision, but the safety of our team has always been our top priority,” said United’s Kirby and Hart. Staff who did not upload proof of vaccine included various working groups such as pilots, flight attendants and mechanics, a spokesman said, declining to provide further details.

However, a United spokesperson said the company was ready to work with some unvaccinated employees during the termination process if they change their minds about vaccination. The airline does not expect any operational problems due to layoffs, the spokesman added.

Workers laid off for not vaccinating would be dismissed for violating a company safety policy, which could prevent them from being entitled to unemployment benefits.

Dozens of employees had given their vaccination cards to the company in the last few days before the deadline, CNBC reported Tuesday.

The number of flight attendants who had not sent in their vaccination card and had not received a special permit fell by around half from the weekend to Monday and fell further to below 100 on Tuesday, as the association of flight attendants represents the approximately 23,000 cabin crew members of the airline.

More than 500 United employees, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers by Monday afternoon, hadn’t uploaded a vaccination record, but fewer than 400 as of Tuesday, according to District 141 President Mike Klemm. The union represents more than 25,000 United employees. Another 700 had received exceptions, he said. The group includes employees in fleet and passenger service.

Klemm said the union plans to file wrongful dismissal lawsuits if workers who have been vaccinated are fired.

Six United Airlines employees sued the airline in federal court in northern Texas, alleging the company failed to provide them with “reasonable accommodation” for religious or medical reasons. United said it will “continue to vigorously defend our policies”.

US companies have increasingly issued vaccination mandates for some or all of their employees, from Tyson Foods to Walmart and MC Donalds since Covid The cases increased in the summer.

president Joe Biden Earlier this month his government said Requirement that large companies require their employees to be vaccinated or have them tested regularly for Covid. The airlines say they are waiting for the details.

All major US airlines have encouraged their employees to get vaccinated, but differ in their approaches, which included extra pay or free time as an incentive. Most did not need vaccines.

Delta Airlines plans to add a $ 200 monthly surcharge to corporate health costs for unvaccinated employees in November. Delta, along with Alaska Airlines and American Airlines have said that unvaccinated employees must use their own sick leave if they miss work because of Covid. Hawaiian Airlines said staff must be vaccinated by November 1st.

Even if an airline doesn’t require vaccines, it could have an impact on where some employees might fly. For example, American Airlines told pilots on September 20 that the governments of Suriname and Canada would require airmen to be vaccinated in order to make these trips, according to a staff memo. According to their union, this also applies to flight attendants.

American expects more countries to be added to the list.

United has required pilots and flight attendants to be vaccinated in order to fly to certain destinations since August 1st. It currently includes Brazil, Peru, India, Italy and Iceland, among others.

The American Airlines and Southwest Airlines pilot unions have argued that vaccines should remain optional for pilots. The Allied Pilots Association, which represents America’s mainline pilots, wrote to the White House, the Department of Transportation, and key lawmakers last week asking for pilots to be offered an alternative to a federal vaccine mandate. About 4,200 of the approximately 14,000 pilots are not vaccinated, according to the union. The APA said a federal mandate to vaccinate could lead to vacation labor shortages and flight disruptions

What that you must find out about President Joe Biden’s new Covid vaccine mandates

Freeport, NY: Daniel Merlos, 15, of Freeport, New York, receives a Covid-19 vaccine at Freeport High School, where the Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital is serving all eligible students, staff, and residents of the COVID- 19 vaccinations provided, 2021.

Steve Pfost | News day | Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s recent vaccination push marks the government’s most aggressive attempt to bring the rampant coronavirus pandemic under control.

Critics see the President’s move as a reversal of his earlier promise to avoid vaccination mandates. However, federal health officials believe this is the next step in the fight against the highly contagious Delta variant, which is killing more than 1,500 Americans daily and filling hospitals with unvaccinated bags to the brim, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

“We will protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated workers,” said Biden on Thursday when the plan was announced. “We will reduce the spread of Covid-19 by increasing the percentage of the vaccinated workforce in companies across America.”

The multi-pronged approach affects hundreds of public and private companies and tens of millions of American workers. It mandates vaccines and excludes testing opportunities for federal government employees, including those in the health sector, and calls for harsh penalties for those who fail to comply.

Here’s what you need to know about Biden’s latest offering to get more Americans vaccinated.

If vaccination is compulsory, without the possibility of testing

Federal employees and contractors working with the government are facing renewed vaccine mandates and no longer have the option of regular Covid tests.

“If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated,” Biden said. “If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce.”

Healthcare workers are also subject to strict requirements. The president has ordered all healthcare facilities that receive federal funding from Medicaid or Medicare to prescribe vaccines for their employees without the option of testing.

Previously, the Biden government only ordered vaccines for employees in U.S. nursing homes who receive federal funding. Some states, including New York and Maine, had already required vaccines for healthcare workers.

The new regulations affect more than 17 million healthcare workers in more than 50,000 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the United States

“If you are seeking care in a health facility, you should know that the people you are treating are vaccinated,” Biden said. “Simple, straightforward, period.”

The president also ordered that all employees of the federal government’s Head Start programs be vaccinated. The order extends to schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Defense, affecting a total of approximately 300,000 people Chalking, a news organization dealing with education.

Where vaccinations or weekly tests are mandatory

Despite the broad scope of the president’s push, most U.S. workers, more than 80 million, will still have the opportunity to prove they don’t have the virus by undergoing weekly Covid tests.

To speed up the pace of daily vaccinations, which have slowed after rising in mid-August, the President ordered the Ministry of Labor to enact a new rule requiring any company with more than 100 employees to provide vaccines for its employees or weekly Covid- Requiring tests for workers who give religious or health reasons not to be vaccinated. However, employers are likely to look more closely at these reasons for deregistering in the future.

The new rule will be implemented by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA). OSHA may issue an interim emergency standard if it proves that employees are at risk and that the proposed regulation can prevent that risk.

Employers are also directed to give paid time off for workers to get vaccinated. This applies to both the public and private sectors.

“Nobody should lose their salary to get vaccinated or to take a loved one to the vaccination,” said Biden.

Consequences in the event of rule violations

Most Americans support vaccine mandates in the workplace, with 62% of Americans supporting the idea, according to a USA Today and Ipsos poll in August.

Among the 29% of unvaccinated US voters, 83% say they do not plan on the life-saving syringes. a new CNBC poll shows.

Employees who fail to meet the new mandates could face a number of consequences, including termination, as companies feel pressures to adapt.

Businesses face a fine of $ 13,600 per breach of the OSHA rule, although the new rules may take some time to implement and enforce. OSHA is experiencing steady downsizing and currently provides one inspector for every 83,000 workers, according to the AFL-CIO, the largest trade union confederation in the United States

United States President Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus protection in schools during a visit to Brookland Middle School in Washington, DC on September 10, 2021.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Appeal to unvaccinated Americans

In his announcement, Biden asked why 80 million Americans still haven’t received the shots after they were made free, accessible and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“What else is there to wait? What else is there to see?” said Biden. “We have been patient, but our patience is failing.”

Biden appealed to those running large entertainment venues, sports arenas and cinemas to require vaccination or proof of a negative test for entry. New York City and San Francisco already require proof of vaccination for activities such as eating indoors and attending movies and entertainment events, with New York City requiring proof of at least one dose and San Francisco proof of full vaccination.

Biden also urged doctors across the country to “reach out to unvaccinated patients … and ask them personally to get the injection.”

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and about 54% of all Americans are fully vaccinated. Experts still disagree on the percentage of a population that needs to be vaccinated in order for the population to achieve herd immunity, although estimates are between 70 and 90%.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and the people around you, ”said Biden.

Biden pushes vaccine mandates overlaying 100 million U.S. employees

president Joe Biden Strictly outlined a broad-based plan on Thursday to increase Covid-19 vaccination rates in the US as cases stagnate dangerously high, pressure private employers to immunize their workforce, and vaccinations for federal employees, contractors and employees Prescribe health care.

The country reports an average of 151,500 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, hovering around levels recorded at the end of January. An average of 1,500 people die from Covid every day in the US, almost the death rate last seen in March when the US recovered from its winter surge, Hopkins data shows.

“Although we have an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations for nearly five months, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who haven’t got the vaccination,” said Biden, who apparently frustrated with the nation’s slow progress on vaccines.

While vaccination rates have picked up pace in the past few weeks as the Delta variant sparked a spike in cases, they remain a fraction of what they were in the first few months of the vaccine launch. The USA Missed Biden’s July 4th goal 70% of adults vaccinated for nearly a month, and since then, only 75.3% of Americans ages 18 and older have given one dose or more, according to CDC data. Just over 54% of the US population is fully vaccinated.

In a speech to the nation, the president tabled a six-part plan that aims to vaccinate more people, allow schools to reopen safely, increase testing, improve patient care, and promote economic recovery.

Biden said he was no longer patient waiting for unvaccinated Americans to get their vaccinations.

“What is there to wait? What else do you need to see? We made vaccinations free, safe and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval, and over 200 million Americans have had at least one vaccination, ”said Biden. “We have been patient, but our patience is deteriorating and the refusal has cost us all.

As part of the plan, the president announced a new requirement for federal employees getting a Covid vaccine without being able to have regular tests. He also signed an executive order that extends the requirement to contractors who work with the U.S. government, affecting a total of 2.1 million employees. Biden had previously ordered all federal employees provide evidence of their coronavirus vaccination status or undergo a number of strict security protocols.

Biden also said he is asking the U.S. Department of Labor to enact a rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees to prescribe vaccines or, according to officials, require weekly tests.

“This requirement will affect over 80 million workers in private sector companies with more than 100 employees,” the labor protection agency said in a statement. The agency, which reports to the Ministry of Labor, is developing an emergency rule that requires these employers to give paid leave for vaccinations or to recover from the side effects of the syringes.

Large US companies increasingly have instructed Vaccines or announced penalties for workers not vaccinated since the rise in Covid cases this summer. Guidelines currently vary with major airlines that also act as government contractors offering charter flights and other services. United Airlines all workers will need to be vaccinated during the fall American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines Employees who are not vaccinated warned they could lose wage protection.

Southwest Airlines, which urged but not required employees to vaccinate, said in a statement Thursday that it “is prepared to move towards compliance with the US Department of Labor’s upcoming rule”.

Healthcare workers receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding must also be fully vaccinated against Covid.

In total, the new vaccination regulations will cover about 100 million workers, affecting two-thirds of U.S. workers, Biden said.

As part of the plan to fight Covid, the government is increasing the average weekly pace of deliveries of free monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid by 50%, Biden said. More than 800,000 cans were shipped in July and August, a senior administration said in a call on Thursday.

The Transportation Security Administration is also plan to double the fines for travelers who refuse to follow a federal mask mandate for air travel, a senior Biden administration official said. Fines will soon start at $ 500 and go up to $ 3,000 for repeat offenders.

Biden also urged all schools to set up regular testing for under-vaccinated students, faculty and staff if Covid spreads in a community.

The Department of Education will provide additional funding to help local school districts replenish salaries and other funds if they have been withheld by heads of state for implementing Covid security measures, according to a senior administrative official.

The plan also provides for $ 2 billion to be allocated to the production of 280 million rapid Covid tests and at home under the Defense Production Act. The plan expands the federal government’s free Covid test program to 10,000 pharmacies nationwide and provides community health centers and food banks with 25 million free rapid tests for distribution.

Private companies will also be handing out discounted tests: Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will start selling Covid tests at home “for the next three months at their own expense,” senior administration officials said. The discount is intended to make the tests 35% cheaper for consumers.

“Together, these steps will ensure that every American, regardless of income, has access to free and convenient testing,” officials said.

Despite the government’s nationwide push for Covid vaccinations, just over 176 million Americans, or 53.3% of the total population, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The government has already announced its plans to give Covid vaccine booster shots later this month to those eight months after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the US will likely begin widely distributing third Pfizer shots by the week of September 20, but the rollout of Moderna could be delayed.

The Biden government has also encouraged private companies to implement vaccine mandates, despite CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky previously told CNBC that federal officials would not give a nationwide mandate.

– CNBC’s Amanda Macias, Leslie Josephs and Nate Rattner contributed to this report.

Taiwan banking on homegrown Medigen vaccine

Taiwan is relying on domestic Covid-19 vaccination to speed up its vaccination program as the island and many countries struggle to secure vaccine supplies from large pharmaceutical companies.

The locally made Covid vaccine from Medigen Vaccine Biologics was featured last week President Tsai Ing-wen receives her first shot of the two-dose vaccine last Monday.

Medigen’s vaccine was developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in the US The vaccine – like that of Novavax – is based on a technology called recombinant protein that uses part of the coronavirus protein to trigger an immune response.

Around 600,000 people in Taiwan were vaccinated with the Medigen vaccine last week, the company’s chairman Charles Chen told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

Some critics have questioned the approval of Medigen’s vaccine. Health authorities cleared the vaccine for emergency use in July after completing only phase 2 clinical trials in Taiwan with no available efficacy data.

Chen told CNBC that it was unable to conduct a “traditional efficacy study” because Taiwan’s infection rate was “so low.” Such a study typically involves a comparison between a vaccinated group and a control group not receiving the vaccine, he explained.

Instead, Medigen used a method called “immune bridging” to infer the level of protection of the vaccine based on the immune responses of the study participants.

“We’ll say our protection will be … the same or better than AstraZeneca,” said Chen.

Medigen said in July that it had received Approval to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial for his Covid vaccine in Paraguay.

Deliveries of Covid vaccines

Taiwan’s vaccination program got off to a slow start as it – like many governments around the world – faced challenges in securing supplies of Covid vaccines.

The island, with a population of around 24 million, has received more than 10 million doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, according to Unicef. That includes nearly 6 million cans donated by the US and Japan, the data showed.

Around 42% of Taiwan’s population have received at least one shot of the Covid vaccine, less than 4% of which are fully vaccinated, according to statistics from the online repository Our World in Data.

While Taiwan reported very few Covid infections last year, the island’s cases skyrocketed in May. Nevertheless, Taiwan’s cumulative number of cases remains relatively low. The number of daily reported cases on the island has since decreased, in contrast to many of its Asian neighbors who are still struggling with swelling infections.

The island has reported 15,995 confirmed cases and 835 deaths since early last year, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday.