Vaccine mandates are making a difference, but even more progress is needed, a White House official said Tuesday.
What You Need To Know
- Vaccine mandates are making a difference, but even more progress is needed, a White House official said Tuesday
- Tens of millions of Americans are covered by vaccine mandates, Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 coordinator, said in a news briefing.
- Zients called on more employers to order vaccine reqruiements in order to help bring an end to the pandemic
- Zients also said the pace of inoculations is picking up — the number of doses being administered is now around 900,000 a day, up from about 500,000 in mid-July, he said.
Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 coordinator, said in a news briefing that since President Joe Biden first ordered vaccine requirements for federal workers last month, more than 800 colleges and universities, over 200 health care employers, dozens of state and local governments and school districts, and many large and small businesses have followed suit.
Now tens of millions of Americans are covered by vaccine mandates, Zients said.
Zients provided a few examples for how the requirements are working:
In Washington state, weekly vaccination rates increased 34% after the state announced a vaccine mandate for state employees, teachers and school staff, health care workers and college students.
Since Arkansas-based Tyson Food announced earlier this month that employees must be inoculated by Nov. 1, the company’s vaccination rate jumped from 45% to 72%.
Listings on the job search site Indeed.com that mention vaccine requirements are up 90%, although Zients did not say since when.
“Bottom line: Vaccination requirements work,” Zients said. “They drive up vaccination rates. And we need more businesses and other employers, including health care systems, school districts, colleges and universities, to step up and do their part to help end the pandemic faster.”
While the Biden administration is calling for vaccine mandates, some people are pushing back. Montana and North Dakota have passed bans on requirements by private employers, while a handful of others have prohibited mandates by government entities.
Vaccine mandate opponents, who have held protests in cities throughout the country, argue that such requirements infringe on their personal freedom.
Currently, 52.4% of all Americans are fully vaccinated, and 61.7% have received at least one shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zients noted that the pace of inoculations is picking up. The number of doses being administered is now around 900,000 a day, up from about 500,000 in mid-July, he said.
“That's an 80% increase in the number of shots getting into arms each and every day,” Zients said.
Last week, more than 6 million shots were given, the most since early July, Zients said.
And over 14 million Americans have received their first shot in August, up nearly 4 million compared to July.