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Economist: Workers have options when it comes to new federal vaccination regulations

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The decision will affect nearly 100 million Americans following President Joe Biden’s announcement of his new, comprehensive federal vaccine requirements.

What does that mean for you on site? WONE 15’s Briana Brownlee reached out to an economist at Purdue University Fort Wayne to find out.

On Thursday, the president ordered that all employers with more than 100 workers must require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If the employee refuses, they will have to test for the virus weekly. This affects approximately 80 million Americans and approximately 17 million health care workers in federal Medicare or Medicaid.

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“Here’s what we know, we don’t know much right now,” said Rachel Blakeman, the director of the PFW Research and Community Institute, a legal challenge for this. These rules will not be favorable to many people. ”

She added that this might seem like a mandate, but workers still have a choice. She suggested that employees who are not restricted by this rule or who want to decline for personal reasons can find an employer with fewer than 100 employees.

Another option a worker has is to have weekly tests. Blakeman said the recommended COVID tests are gradually becoming a problem. She added that it will be interesting to see if the cost of the test falls on the person.

Major new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans

“Think of that as a market-based function. If you have to pay for your test or can get the vaccine for free, then maybe you will go for the vaccine, ”Blakeman said. “Requiring this negative test will mean an administrative burden for the employer. The employer can then decide: “You know what, I’ve finished this test business and have to keep track of things. I will only impose a vaccination mandate on my employees. We will make this decision. “

She also predicted that getting a vaccination card would become routine to get hired for a company, as would showing a social security card, driver’s license, or proof that a person could legally work in the United States.

“When you hire a new employee, you have to get documents, you have to get a driver’s license,” said Blakeman. “This can only become part of what employers have to do when hiring a new employee.

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Following the announcement, WANE 15 reached out to schools, businesses, and hospitals in the area for their plans:

“We didn’t have to vaccinate staff or students. We believe this is a personal choice between individuals and their health care providers. ”- Northwest Allen County.

“We don’t need any vaccinations at the moment. Since this has only just come out, we need to review it to see what impact it will have. ”- Fort Wayne Community Schools.

“We just heard the information and we need to digest it and know what it means to us.” – East Allen County Schools.

The Fort Wayne, Greater Fort Wayne, Do it Best, and Parkview Health police all replied that, given the news so new, they had no response at the time.

Lutheran Health Network stated, “Our hospitals and their care teams will work to comply with the President’s COVID-19 vaccination order and look forward to further guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on implementation.”

It is still unclear when the new requirements will come into force.

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