Vaccine required for federal workers

Coronavirus

In this Feb. 11, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden visits the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. This summer’s coronavirus surge has been labeled a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” by government officials from President Joe Biden on down. That sound bite captures the glaring reality that unvaccinated people overwhelmingly account for new cases and serious infections. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (WJW)– President Joe Biden is toughening COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors as he aims to boost vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.

That’s according to a person familiar with the plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Biden has signed a new executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors that do business with the federal government. The step comes in advance of a speech Thursday afternoon outlining a six-pronged plan to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases and the stagnating pace of COVID-19 shots.

Biden has encouraged COVID-19 vaccine requirements in schools, workplaces and university campuses. The White House hopes the strengthened federal mandate will inspire more businesses to follow suit.

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