HEALTH

Analysts say to expect backlash over Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination rules

Sep 9, 2021, 8:35 PM | Updated: 8:37 pm
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. ...
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY – President Biden has unveiled a new six-point plan that he believes will boost COVID-19 vaccinations all over the country. 

Some business analysts say the country will likely see a tremendous amount of backlash from employers, and some Utah lawmakers are already lashing out against it.

When the plan goes into effect, President Biden says it would impact 100 million Americans.  One part of the plan would require all federal employees to get vaccinated. And that includes all outside contractors that work with the federal government.  Health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding would also have to be fully vaccinated.  Plus, any company that employs 100 workers or more would have to mandate their employees. Those employees would either have to get the vaccine, or workers would have to be tested every week.

Not an easy plan to roll out

The Employers Council Utah and Arizona Offices Director Glenn Pelster says the official rules about these mandates would have to be hammered out by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and this will not be an easy plan to roll out.

Pelster said, “There’s just a lot of moving parts here that are not going to come together smoothly.”

Pelster believes employers have a myriad of questions about the new rules.  What would the penalties be if they don’t comply?  Who would enforce vaccine mandates?  Who would pay for the testing?  Pelster said managers are going to have to wait for the official guidance from OSHA.

However, he says there will have to be a way employers can provide exemptions for medical or religious reasons.  Pelster believes many workers across the country are going to become well-versed in finding loopholes to the rules if they don’t want to get the shots.

“For employers, that means you are also going to have to be well-versed in how to properly handle a disability or religious exemption,” Pelster said.

The Deseret News reports Rep. John Curtis calls the president’s plan “illegal and absurd,” and it will only cause more vaccine hesitancy.  Senator Mike Lee says the president is “coercing private citizens to undergo a medical procedure.”

Utah’s current vaccination rate

Currently, officials say over 70 percent of all Utahns age 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.  Utah Department of Health Immunization Director Rich Lakin says doctors used to believe we would need to reach 70 percent vaccination to reach herd immunity.  However, the highly contagious Delta variant has changed that.

He said, “In order to hit herd immunity, 70 percent is not really an accurate number, anymore.”

For highly contagious diseases, like the Delta variant, Lakin says immunization rates have to be much higher.  He believes we would need to reach 90 percent vaccination to reach herd immunity from that variant.

“For example, measles, because it’s very contagious, we have to be above that 90 percent mark in order to control outbreaks,” Lakin said.

 

Related Articles

Sweeping new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans

Utah lawmaker wants businesses held liable if they require COVID-19 vaccines

How Republicans reacted to President Joe Biden’s vaccination plan for businesses, federal workers

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
2 days ago
A study by Intermountain Health that spanned 40 years and sought answers about the health of people...
Simone Seikaly

Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery

In some cases the results from the weight-loss surgery study were expected. But at least one result could be a cause for alarm and caution.
2 days ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a recall for mil...
Simone Seikaly

Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you

Millions of pounds of canned meat and poultry products (mainly Vienna sausages) are involved in the Conagra recall.
2 days ago
Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming mon...
Waverly Golden

As two federal pandemic emergency-assistance programs near an end, Cox has solutions

Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming months due to more job opportunities.
2 days ago
FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
6 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Analysts say to expect backlash over Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination rules