United States President Joe Biden makes a statement about a Minnesota police shooting in the Oval Office of the White House after meeting with members of Congress about the American employment plan on April 12, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden will announce a tax credit on Wednesday for employers offering paid vacation-related vaccines as the White House urges more Americans to check for Covid shots amid a slight drop in vaccinations.
The small and medium-sized business tax credit will fully offset the cost of paid employee time off for vaccination as well as recovery from potential vaccination side effects, administrators told reporters.
Biden will also urge employers to use their resources to promote vaccinations by sharing accurate information and offering possible incentives such as product gifts and discounts for vaccinated individuals, according to a White House fact sheet.
“Nobody should have to lose a single dollar on their paycheck because they were vaccinated,” said an official who asked for anonymity prior to the president’s announcement.
The tax credit, which is part of the $ 1.9 trillion Covid stimulus plan that went into effect last month, applies to nearly half of all private sector employees, the White House fact sheet reads.
For businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees, the tax credit covers paid vacation of up to $ 511 per day for up to 10 business days or 80 hours of work taken between April 1 and September 30, 2021.
In a speech scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CET, Biden will unveil the tax credit and urge employers of all sizes to give the same paid vacation guarantees as he announces the US will hit 200 million Covid shots, which have been administered since he took office.
The president had originally tried to get 100 million shots in 100 days – a goal that has been criticized for being far too modest. The Biden government exceeded that number in 58 days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 26% of the US population is fully vaccinated. Health experts have signaled that the percentage required to achieve what is known as herd immunity is much higher.
But the vaccination rate has dropped slightly in the past few days, although every U.S. adult is eligible for a Covid shot starting this week.
According to CDC data, the US reports an average of 3 million daily vaccinations over the past week, up from about 1.8 million in early March.
That level has fallen slightly in recent days, from a high of 3.4 million reported shots per day on April 13 to just more than 3 million on Tuesday.
The slight decrease in daily pace may be due in part to ongoing research into the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration advised states earlier this month to suspend the use of J & J’s shot “out of caution” after six women developed a rare bleeding disorder.
Although the J&J vaccine accounts for less than 4% of the total of 213 million vaccines administered in the U.S., it was used for an average of nearly 425,000 reported shots per day at peak levels in mid-April.
Unlike what Pfizer and Moderna offered, J & J’s vaccine only required one dose, making it ideal for certain communities that may have more difficulty accessing vaccination sites multiple times over several weeks.
Government officials said the country has enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to maintain a pace of 3 million shots a day.
The Biden government has maintained the urgency of vaccinations, stressing that Covid remains a serious threat – especially as highly contagious variants spread across the US
“It’s almost a race between vaccinating people and this surge that is apparently about to increase,” said leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier this month.