California and New York City said Monday that all government employees would be required to get the coronavirus vaccine or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Meanwhile, vaccination rates began to creep up again, possibly indicating that increasingly serious health warnings are reaching more Americans.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all municipal workers — including teachers and police officers — will be required to get vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing.
California said it will similarly require proof of vaccination or weekly testing for all state workers and millions of public- and private-sector health care employees starting next month.
The VA’s move came on a day when nearly 60 leading medical and health care organizations issued a call through the American Medical Association for health care facilities to require their workers to get vaccinated.
“I’ve heard that, and I feel that frustration.”
President Joe Biden should “lead by example” and impose further mandates on the federal workforce and in public venues where the government has jurisdiction, including in planes, trains and federal buildings, said Dr. Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner.
The administration has so far recommended that unvaccinated people keep wearing masks indoors, but top officials over the weekend said they are considering recommending that the vaccinated also wear them indoors.
The U.S. should not have been caught off guard after watching the delta variant ravage India in May and then land in the United Kingdom, Israel, and other highly vaccinated nations with force last month, added Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist at Yale’s School of Public Health.
The 7-day rolling average on Sunday was about 583,000 vaccinations a day, up from about 525,000 a week prior.
Public health experts on Monday said the uptick in vaccinations is encouraging but warned that it’s far too early to say if millions of unvaccinated people are finally overcoming their reticence.