Earlier this week, the US surpassed 800,000 coronavirus-related deaths, meaning the country has the highest number of reported COVID-19 deaths, followed by Brazil and India.
The US has also exceeded 50 million confirmed cases, and this is only expected to continue to grow amid the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant, which is spreading quickly across the world.
In this context, the Biden administration is latching onto booster shots as the answer; and employers are jumping on board.
Examples include the National Football League, the Metropolitan Opera, and universities like NYU.
Booster jabs and the Washington Post
The latest to do so is the Washington Post; the newspaper was one of the earlier employers to mandate vaccinations for employees, contracts, and guests back in July.
Now it has announced it will be reopening offices for all on 31 January. Managers will be expected to work from the office at least three days a week from them, and the newspaper will require employees to work there at least three days a week from 15 February.
However, exemptions would be available for those with children aged under five or who lived with immunocompromised individuals.
The Washington Post will also require employees to have received a COVID-19 booster shot and submit to weekly testing “out of an abundance of caution”.
The newspaper wrote in an email to employees: “Booster shots are now incorporated into our mandatory vaccination policy — that is, they are a condition of employment, regardless of your location”.
For the testing requirement, the company will provide on-site rapid testing clinics at its four offices across the US.
Will this approach catch on? Could Biden implement a national booster mandate in an attempt to control Omicron? Only time will tell.
Sign up to the UNLEASH Newsletter
Get the Editor’s picks of the week delivered straight to your inbox!