Nov 18, 2021 - Health

Health groups urge businesses to voluntarily implement Biden's vaccine rule

Pfizer vaccine
Photo: Nick Oxford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The American Medical Association (AMA) and more than 60 other health groups on Thursday urged companies with over 100 employees to voluntarily implement President Biden's vaccine-or-testing mandate, saying the requirements are "essential to protect workers."

Driving the news: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the rule earlier this month, prompting immediate legal challenges. OSHA has suspended its enforcement of the rule pending further legal developments.

  • That decision came after a federal appeals court ordered OSHA to "take no steps to implement or enforce" the rule "until further court order," the department said.

Context: Partial enforcement of the rule, which includes a masking requirement for unvaccinated employees, was set to begin Dec. 5, per the White House.

  • The rule also requires companies with over 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly by Jan. 4.

What they're saying: "We—physicians, nurses and advanced practice clinicians, health experts, and health care professional societies—fully support the requirement that workers at companies with over 100 workers be vaccinated or tested. This requirement by the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reasonable and essential to protect workers," the joint statement from the health care groups said.

  • "From the first day of this pandemic, businesses have wanted to vanquish this virus. Now is their chance to step up and show they are serious. Implementing these commonsense OSHA standards is an important step for our workers, businesses, and the nation as a whole." 
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