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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As coronavirus vaccines become less scarce, employers such as nursing homes and hospitals are debating whether to require their employees to be vaccinated, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Health care workers often interact with the members of society most vulnerable to severe coronavirus infections, making a particularly strong case for vaccine mandates.

  • But a much broader array of employers are also considering mandating the shots, meaning this debate will likely play out well beyond the health care industry.
  • As vaccines become less scarce, the debate is gaining steam.

State of play: At least a half-dozen long-term care companies have announced imminent vaccine mandates, per the Post.

  • Houston Methodist last week became the first health system in the country to announce that vaccination would be mandatory for its workers.
  • But other hospitals are being more cautious, instead trying to encourage workers to get vaccinated.

By the numbers: Around six in 10 health care workers support their employer requiring the vaccine. A little more than four in 10 said they'd oppose such a requirement, according to a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

  • One in six said they would leave their jobs rather than get vaccinated.

The big picture: "Everybody is thinking about it," Lorraine Martin, president of the National Safety Council, a group of 16,000 U.S. businesses and organizations, told the Post. "A lot of companies are calling each other, trading notes, trying to land in the right place."

Go deeper

Apr 6, 2021 - World

Vaccinating Africa: Countries struggle to deliver the few shots they've got

Registering for a vaccine, in Thika, Kenya. Photo: Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg via Getty

The first shipment of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines finally arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 3. One month later, they’re still sitting in a warehouse in the capital, Kinshasa.

Why it matters: Africa is at the back of the global line for vaccines, and most countries only expect enough doses to cover a fraction of their populations this year. But in some cases, even those limited supplies may not be fully deployed before they expire.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Apr 5, 2021 - Health

CDC: Disinfecting indoor surfaces only necessary after recent COVID-19 case

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Regular household cleaners and soap — not disinfectant — are fine to use to clean indoor surfaces and lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

What they're saying: “Disinfection is only recommended in indoor settings, schools, and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at Monday's White House coronavirus briefing.

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