White House offers new tax credit to help spur vaccinations

"When tomorrow’s vaccine numbers come out, it will show that today we did it, today we had 200 million shots, the 92nd day in office," announced President Joe Biden today.

His administration is celebrating this big milestone, while acknowledging we still have a long way to go in getting Americans vaccinated, especially young people. 80% of adults in the country, age 65 and older, have received at least their first shot. The President is now focused on that younger group and pushing a new agenda for employers to let their workers get a vaccination without fear of losing pay.

"I’m calling on every employer large and small in every state to give employees the time off they need with pay to get vaccinated and any time they need with pay to recover if they are feeling under the weather after the shot. Now our objective is to reach everyone over the age of 16 in America, wherever you live, whatever your circumstances. If you are 16 and older, you are now eligible for a free Covid vaccine shot," said Biden.

This push comes as federal regulators release scathing findings from their inspection of a Baltimore manufacturing plant. The plant, which is run by Emergent BioSolutions, had to throw out about 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine several weeks ago when workers at the facility accidentally mixed up the ingredients. The FDA found unsanitary conditions and failure by Emergent to thoroughly look into the cross-contamination. Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently on pause here in the U.S. due to its potential link to blood clots, however the vaccine is now resuming its rollout in Europe.

"In the vast majority of cases these vaccines are going to prevent death and hospitalizations from COVID-19, So we always have to balance the benefits of a vaccine with the potential risks," said Emer Cooke, European Medicines Agency Executive Director.

As the vaccination program progresses, the administration believes it will only get more difficult to sustain the current pace of about 3 million shots per day. Roughly 130 million Americans have yet to receive one dose.

With the Associated Press.

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