HealthDay News — As demand for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States shows signs of declining, President Joe Biden on Wednesday offered businesses new incentives to help more workers get their shots.
He asked — but did not mandate — that businesses give employees paid time off to get vaccinated and even offered special tax credits to businesses employing less than 500 people to help cover any costs. According to The New York Times, Biden said that “no working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fill their patriotic duty to get vaccinated.”
Michael Carney, the senior vice president for emerging issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, told The Times that, “if you think of this as a war, we’re about to enter the hand-to-hand combat phase of the war.” Paid time off could be a major weapon in that battle. Officials say that about 30 percent of unvaccinated workers said it could help convince them to get immunized. Some businesses are also contemplating their own vaccination education campaigns and immunization clinics.
Reaching the unvaccinated will be crucial to boosting immunization rates to the 70 to 90 percent scientists believe is needed for herd immunity. Right now, about 40 percent of American adults have gotten at least one dose of vaccine, The Times said, but rates vary widely between states.