U.S. President Joe Biden has announced new COVID-19 vaccine mandates that could affect up to 100 million Americans.
Biden on Thursday said companies with 100 or more employees will be required to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or provide a negative test once a week.
"And tonight, I am removing one of the last remaining obstacles that make it difficult for you to get vaccinated. The Department of Labor will require employers with 100 or more workers to give those workers paid time off to get vaccinated."
President Biden also announced his plans to sign an executive order requiring the majority of federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The plan also applies to 17 million healthcare workers working in hospitals and institutions that accept federal programs to help the poor, seniors, and the disabled.
He insisted the measures are necessary, as a quarter of the adult population in the U.S. has yet to get a single shot.
"This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated We still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot."
The Biden administration is also doubling fines to a minimum 500 U.S. dollars for those violating mask mandates when using public transport.
Biden warned that Americans should be prepared to pay, if they don't abide by the rules.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.