As the United States witnesses an alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in several states amid the Delta variant spread, President Joe Biden has announced that his administration will require that nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.
The president unveiled the new policy Wednesday afternoon as the administration continues to look for ways to use mandates to encourage vaccine holdouts to get shots. The new mandate could come into effect as soon as next month, AP reported.
Despite being the first in the country who were entitled to get the vaccine as soon as it became available, thousands of nursing home workers in the U.S. are still unvaccinated, according to federal data.
Over the past month, the administration was able to mandate millions of federal workers to get their vaccines. By next month, the administration will require the military forces to get the vaccine.
The Biden administration is still looking for ways to encourage everyone to get their vaccines. One option is raising the costs of the vaccines for the unvaccinated after months of incentives and offers proved to be insufficient to drive tens of millions of Americans to roll up their sleeves.
Biden has also praised industries that already require their labor force to get the vaccine. He also urged other businesses to do the same.
According to the White House, around 200 million Americans already received at least the first dose of the vaccine, doubling the nation’s rate of vaccinated Americans. Despite the efforts, there are still 80 million eligible unvaccinated Americans.