White House encourages vax requirements


BOSTON (SHNS) – The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered nationwide each day is now averaging around 900,000, up from 500,000 per day in mid-July, Biden administration officials said Tuesday as they touted vaccine requirements as one policy tool to drive up numbers.

Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said that more than 800 colleges and universities, more than 200 health care employers, dozens of states, local governments and school districts, and small and large businesses across the country have put some sort of vaccine requirement in place, applying to tens of millions of Americans.

Zients used Washington state and Arkansas-based Tyson Foods as examples of successful policies. He said Washington’s weekly vaccination rate jumped 34 percent after the state announced vaccine requirements for state employees, teachers, health care workers and colleges. Tyson Foods announced Aug. 3 that its employees would need to be vaccinated by Nov. 1, Zients said, and at that point 45 percent of its workforce had gotten a shot. Today, it’s up to 72 percent, he said.

“Bottom line, vaccination requirements work,” he 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.”

He also urged individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated to get the shots.

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