Biden Unveils Sweeping Vaccine Mandates Amid Delta Variant Surge

To curb the surging delta variant, President Joe Biden last Thursday laid out coronavirus vaccine mandates that could affect tens of millions of Americans including federal workers, employees at large firms (like health insurance companies) and health care staff. Experts say the vaccines are highly effective at slowing the spread of the virus, saving lives and health care costs. A recent Health Affairs study suggested that by May 9, 2021, vaccination against COVID-19 may be associated with a reduction of nearly 140,000 deaths. Another Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimated that between June and August 2021, over 280,000 COVID-related hospitalizations — costing over $5.7 billion combined — could have been prevented by vaccination. Almost 180 million Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, yet new cases are still rising in recent weeks, most of which occurred among those not yet fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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