US Biden to tout jump in U.S. vaccination rates after mandates - White House
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden will highlight a "strong uptick" in U.S. vaccinations in a speech on Thursday, a White House official said, marking the impact of vaccine mandates for federal workers and big companies that he introduced.
In remarks scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EDT, Biden will highlight that "thanks to his 'Path out of the Pandemic' plan and the administration’s urgent push for vaccine requirements, the country is seeing a strong uptick in vaccinations, while cases and hospitalizations continue to decline," a White House official said.
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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When Russian regulators approved the country's own coronavirus vaccine, it was a moment of national pride, and the Pavlov family was among those who rushed to take the injection. But international health authorities have not yet given their blessing to the Sputnik V shot. So when the family from Rostov-on-Don wanted to visit the West, they looked for a vaccine that would allow them to travel freely — a quest that brought them to Serbia, where hundreds of Russian citizens have flocked in recent weeks to receive Western-approved COVID-19 shots.
Vaccination rates against COVID-19 in the United States have risen by more than 20 percentage points after multiple institutions adopted vaccine requirements in recent months, while case numbers and deaths from the virus are down, Biden administration officials said on Wednesday.
Biden said in July federal workers needed to be vaccinated or get tested regularly. In September, he said federal workers needed to be vaccinated or face losing their jobs, and that employees at big companies needed to get jabs or be tested.
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The latest Reuters update shows 66.3% of the United States population has received at least one shot and 57.3% are fully vaccinated. White House officials said Wednesday 77% of eligible Americans had received at least one shot.
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Vaccine mandates are the only way to win the COVID wars. President Biden can just end this now Joe Biden | Demonstrators opposed to masking and mandatory vaccination for students gather outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters as board members voted that all children 12 and older in Los Angeles public schools must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January to enter campus on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.
Some Republicans have pushed back on the mandates, including Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, who issued an executive order banning companies from mandating vaccines in the state. Some companies that operate there say they plan to ignore the ban.
Vaccines for children under age 12 are expected to be approved in the U.S. by year-end.
Biden will also talk about continuing work on booster shots and ensuring that schools "remain safe and open".
"Lastly, he will remind the American people that even with this strong progress, now is not the time to let up in our response," the White House official said.
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Editing by Heather Timmons and Mark Heinrich)
More than 40% of Americans may not get a flu shot this year. That could spell trouble during COVID. .
The main reason cited for not getting a flu shot is a belief that it isn't effective. Experts say flu shots prevent thousands of deaths every year.Last year's worries around a "twindemic" of influenza and COVID-19 overwhelming hospitals around the nation luckily went unfounded after a historically mild flu season.