Veterans Affairs Plus New York City, California Mandate Vaccinations for Health Care Workers

(Cedar Attansio/AP)
The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency on Monday to require vaccination for its 115,000 health care workers. The American Medical Association and 56 other leading medical organizations are now calling for mandatory vaccinations for workers at all health care settings, including nursing homes nationwide.

California will soon require vaccination or negative weekly COVID tests for state and health care workers. New York City will also mandate vaccines or tests for municipal workers, including teachers and health care workers, and urging private employers to require shots.

"It's quite clear the delta variant has changed the game," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). "We need to move to stronger measures."

In the meantime, Florida's governor says ordinary people should not be forced or mocked into taking the vaccine.

"They have different reasons for why they don't take it, and I think that the more they're hectored by government officials or some of these folks, that is not gonna get them to 'yes,' I can tell you that right now," said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Los Angeles, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Savannah, Georgia and other areas are imposing mask mandates indoors even for the vaccinated. That goes against CDC guidance stating only the unvaccinated should wear masks inside, but that may change.

"It is scary, especially when the numbers are getting worse," Missouri resident Audrey Thomas said. "I definitely think wearing masks would be a good thing."

The delta variant, which makes up 83% of COVID cases in America, is much more contagious than other strains we've seen before, largely because people infected with it can carry up to 1,000 times more virus. That means people who have no immunity are most vulnerable.

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