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Biden calls on businesses to allow employees paid time off to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Launches new tax credit as an incentive
Joe Biden
Posted at 11:35 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 14:36:50-04

President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on employers to allow workers to take paid time off in order to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as his administration celebrated its goal of injecting 200 million doses of vaccines into the arms of Americans in his first 100 days in office.

"No working Americans should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty to get vaccinated," Biden said Tuesday.

In a statement, the White House said that the Biden administration was launching a tax credit for businesses and non-profits with less than 500 employees. That credit amounts to $511 per day of paid sick leave offered between April and September.

Biden also called on large companies to offer similar incentives to get vaccinated. He noted that grocery giant Kroger had offered employees $100 to get vaccinated — a move that drove vaccination rates among employees from about 50% to over 70%.

In his remarks, Biden also praised volunteers, health care workers and members of his staff in remarks Wednesday as his administration nears its goal of administering 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines within his first 100 days in office.

"This is an American achievement," Biden said.

The president’s remarks came a day before the administration is slated to surpass the 200 million dose threshold — Biden’s 92nd day in office.

Prior to his inauguration, Biden promised that his administration would record 100 million shots of COVID-19 vaccine within his first 100 days in office. The administration achieved that goal on March 19, just 58 days into his term. Days later, Biden announced he was doubling his administration’s target number for injections.

Biden called the effort "unmatched in the world and in the history of mass vaccination efforts in the U.S."

The remarks come two days after Biden ordered states to expand vaccine eligibility to everyone in the U.S. aged 16 or older. The CDC reports that currently, 33% of adult Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and just over 50% have received at least one shot.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. has administered an average of 3 million doses of the vaccine for the past seven days.

Biden’s remarks also come as Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine continues to be shelved. The FDA and CDC recommended a pause in the use of the vaccine last week, after officials received a report of a sixth person who had suffered an extremely rare but severe clotting disorder after receiving a dose.

About 7 million people in the U.S. safely received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to the pause.

Over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci — Biden’s top medical adviser — said in an interview that he believes that use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be lifted sometime this week.

On Tuesday, the European Union’s top medical regulatory agency said it believed the benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweighed the risks but suggested adding a warning label about the clotting disorder to the packaging.

Biden will deliver his remarks regarding COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution at 1:15 p.m. ET .