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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

State governments, private businesses and even part of the federal government are suddenly embracing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for their employees.

Why it matters: Vaccine mandates have been relatively uncommon in the U.S. But with vaccination rates stagnating and the Delta variant driving yet another wave of cases, there's been a new groundswell of support for such requirements.

Driving the news: Monday was a turning point.

  • The VA became the first federal agency to require its employees to be vaccinated.
  • More than 50 medical groups — including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association — called for mandatory vaccinations of all health care workers, WaPo first reported.
  • California announced that state employees and health care workers must show proof of vaccination or get tested regularly.
  • New York City brought all municipal workers — including teachers and police officers — under a vaccine requirement that had previously only applied to health workers.
  • Even the SF Bar Owner Alliance hopped onboard, announcing that the 500 San Francisco bars it represents will require indoor customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

The big picture: Vaccine requirements are also gaining steam internationally.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month required health workers to get vaccinated. Members of the public must also have a vaccinate or a negative test to enter most indoor venues.
  • Although the measure has sparked protests, it's also encouraged millions of people to get vaccinated, per the NYT.
  • Italy has followed France's lead.

Yes, but: Many Republican-led states have preemptively prohibited vaccine requirements, at least in some settings.

  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to say whether President Biden supports restrictions on unvaccinated people, per CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

What they're saying: "Talk about hitting a tipping point," tweeted Bob Wachter, chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine.

  • "As each organization and industry finds the courage to mandate or strongly incentivize vaccination, it makes it that much easier for the next one to do so. Until all the pressure is on leaders who have NOT done it."

The bottom line: Vaccine mandates have been unpopular in part because they'll inevitably create a backlash.

  • But the vaccination effort seems to have run out of carrots to incentivize more people to get a shot, and with rates remaining as low as they are in light of a worsening domestic situation, resorting to sticks has clearly become a more attractive option.

Go deeper: Nursing homes have startlingly low COVID vaccination rates

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court declines to block Maine health care workers vaccine mandate

A Maine health care worker prepares vaccine dose. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an emergency appeal of a vaccine mandate for Maine health care workers.

The big picture: The mandate, which was announced in August by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, says that Maine health care workers need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs and not qualifying for unemployment benefits.

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year

J&J's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson registered $502 million of global revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date vaccine sales to $766 million.

The big picture: J&J, which is selling the vaccine at a not-for-profit price of $7.50 per dose, still expects to generate $2.5 billion of COVID vaccine sales this year, executives said Tuesday. But that total will still dwarf the use and sales of the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.