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.