Some experts say Biden’s move comes at critical moment in pandemic but lawsuits from Republican leaders are also expected

Joe Biden’s new hard line on vaccine mandates in America has dropped in an already politically fraught environment, where some governors have banned the use of masks in schools even as many experts lament low rates of vaccination and some hospitals are straining under the pressure of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The mandates will cover 80 million workers at large businesses and 17 million health workers across the US. Staff in healthcare systems receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding must be vaccinated, with rare exemptions for medical reasons. Businesses with more than 100 employees must require either vaccination or weekly testing. In addition, large businesses must offer paid time off for employees and their families to receive the vaccines and recover from any side effects.

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