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Ron DeSantis. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will convene a special session of the state legislature this week to consider legislation to combat COVID-19 vaccine mandates, his office outlined.

Driving the news: The special session will consider four pieces of legislation requiring employers to allow exceptions to the mandate for certain workers, increasing penalties for employers who fire workers for being unvaccinated, among other provisions.

  • The special session will also "stand up to protect" Floridians against schools that require mask and vaccine mandates, per the press release.

The big picture: The special session has been dubbed "Keep Florida Free" and will last through the week, per the Washington Post.

  • “No cop, no firefighter, no nurse, nobody should be losing their job because of these jabs — we must stand up for people and protect their jobs and livelihoods,” DeSantis said in the press release.
  • DeSantis announced that he would convene a special session on the matter in October.

This is only the latest move by the Republican Florida governor to fight vaccine mandates.

Go deeper

15 hours ago - Health

Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID

Photo: Jörg Sarbach/picture alliance via Getty Images

The biggest counties across America, especially those with tightly packed populations, are reporting far fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths due to widespread vaccination rates, according to data analyzed from the The Washington Post.

Why it matters: Vaccination data shows that even at the county and city level in the most densely populated areas, the most-vaccinated counties are less vulnerable to outbreaks.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

2 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.