[Opinion] Biden’s new requirement for workplace vaccinations/testing is a great step towards the ending of the COVID-19 pandemic


Tribune News Service

In this Sept. 14, 2021 file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. President Joe Biden has directed OSHA to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free. Photo curtesy of AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ashley LoFurno, Writer

Ever since March 2020, COVID-19 has had a detrimental effect on our everyday life. Schools and workplaces shutting down, wearing masks, social distancing and watching the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the virus climb daily are just a few examples of the pandemic’s impact on our world.

Finally, we have reached a point where we have, for the most part, begun to gain our social lives back, thanks to the vaccines that rolled out months ago. However, the virus still rages on, and the blame lies on the unvaccinated. But now we have an opportunity to worry less about the nuisances anti-vaccination people have caused due to United States President Joe Biden’s new mandate.

Biden introduced a new mandate on Sept. 9, 2021 that, in short, mandates companies with 100 or more employees to require workers to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or to undergo weekly testing. Regular employees, like office or retail workers, have the option to not receive the vaccine and to get tested weekly and social distance instead, leaving federal workers in the executive branch as the only workers with no way to opt-out of vaccination. Companies who fail to comply with this mandate are risking facing fines up to $14,000.

This official requirement is a big step in fighting against the 80 million citizens nationwide who refuse to get the vaccination, posing as the main reason why the virus has spiked in infection and death rates once again.

The unvaccinated minority has set our nation back in the battle against the coronavirus, being five times more likely to contract the virus and 29 more times likely to be hospitalized. It is not fair that the people who are making an effort to fight this virus have to continue being held back by the uncooperative “anti-vaxxers.”

It is unacceptable that these people, who are old and healthy enough to receive this vaccine, are avoiding it as if it were the virus itself. Not only are they jeopardizing themselves, but also the people around them, like children under 12 or the immunocompromised population.

These groups are not privileged with the option of staying protected against COVID-19 through a vaccine. Because of this, it is disappointing to see a large number of people who are able to receive it be so careless about it, and possibly even spread the virus to the disadvantaged groups.

This mandate is a great step towards ending COVID-19’s dreadful reign over the United States. Citizens will not have to worry about the surplus of anti-vaxxers for much longer and hopefully our country can return to normal again soon.