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US: California & New York Makes Covid Vaccine Mandatory For Government Employees

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New Delhi: COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates continue to be a source of contention, and have already resulted in legal action in the case of public universities. Opponents see them as a violation of people’s rights.

Political leaders in California and New York City ordered government workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face regular tests on Monday, putting more pressure on hesitant residents in an effort to stem an increase in infections blamed on the Delta variant.

ALSO READ: US Secretary Of State On Two-Day India Visit; Trade, Defence, Afghanistan & Covid Vaccine On Agenda

New York City will require its more than 300,000 employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly by September 13, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. The crackdown came just a week after the most populous city in the United States mandated vaccines for all healthcare workers at city-run hospitals and clinics.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all state employees, or approximately 246,000 people, would be required to get vaccinated or undergo COVID-19 testing at least once a week beginning August 2.

“We’re at a point now in this pandemic where an individual’s choice to not get vaccinated is impacting the rest of us,” On Monday, Newsom held a press conference.
As the number of cases linked to the Delta variant rises, federal, state, and local officials have increased their push for vaccinations. Among them have been Republican leaders who were previously hesitant to join the effort.

“As COVID-19 cases are rising in all 50 states, I want to encourage all Georgians to talk with their doctor and get vaccinated,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a first-term Republican, wrote on Twitter.

On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs, whose mission includes providing healthcare to former service members, became the first federal agency to mandate vaccinations for its employees.

The Delta variant, which is thought to be more transmissible than the original virus, has caused a surge in new cases across the United States, partially reversing a drop in cases that occurred after vaccines became widely available in the spring.

According to a White House official, the Delta variant has prompted the federal government to postpone any consideration of lifting existing travel restrictions in the near future.

In New York, DC 37, the city’s largest public employee union with 125,000 members, criticised the city’s mandate on Monday.

“If City Hall intends to test our members weekly, they must first meet us at the table to bargain,” Executive Director Henry Garrido said in a statement.

The sharpest increases in COVID-19 infections have occurred in states with lower vaccination rates in the United States. According to White House adviser Jeffrey Zients, Florida, Texas, and Missouri account for 40% of all new cases nationwide, with Florida accounting for one in every five.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under half of the US population is fully vaccinated (CDC). According to CDC data, the number of vaccine doses administered daily peaked at 4.63 million on April 10, and has since plateaued and declined.

COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates continue to be a source of contention, and have already resulted in legal action in the case of public universities. Opponents see them as an infringement on individual rights.

On Monday, 57 medical associations issued a statement urging all healthcare and long-term care employers in the United States to require their employees to get vaccinated.

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