Watch Live: Biden to call on employers to offer paid leave for vaccinations

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Washington — President Biden on Wednesday will announce the nation is poised to meet his goal of administering 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses before the end of the week and will urge U.S. employers to provide paid time off for workers to get their vaccines, the White House said.

The president will tout the upcoming milestone in remarks at the White House this afternoon. States on Monday expanded eligibility for the shots to all American adults, meeting another deadline set by Mr. Biden as part of his campaign to boost vaccinations.

In addition to urging employers to offer paid leave for workers to get their shots and recover from side effects, Mr. Biden will announce a new tax credit to fully offset the costs for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees who provide the benefit.

The tax credit, designed to incentivize certain employers to offer the paid leave, is part of the president’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package enacted last month.

How to watch President Biden’s remarks today

  • What: President Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and vaccinations
  • Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021
  • Time: 1:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: The White House
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device

The Biden administration is not issuing mandates to companies regarding vaccinations and is instead leaving such decisions to employers, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 213 million doses have been administered, and over half of all U.S. adults have received at least one of their shots. One in three adults were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.

The Biden administration has rolled out a host of initiatives designed to boost access to the COVID-19 vaccines and accelerate the pace of administering them, partnering with retail pharmacies and community health centers to ensure they are equitably distributed.

But some states, like Michigan, have experienced a recent spike in infections, leaving federal health officials to remind members of the public to remain vigilant in following mitigation measures to combat the spread of the virus. Despite those warnings and with vaccination rates rising, at least a dozen states have rolled back their mask mandates, while others are easing capacity restrictions on indoor establishments.

While the nation is approaching 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines administered in Mr. Biden’s first 100 days, the vaccine program has not been without issues. The Food and Drug Administration and the CDC last week recommended a pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine after six women who received the shot developed a rare blood-clot disorder. All 50 states swiftly halted administration of Johnson & Johnson’s shot.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Mr. Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that a decision on resuming Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine should be made by the end of the week and suggested the vaccine could come back online with restrictions over who can receive it.

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