President Biden is offering a tax credit businesses can use to allow employees to get a shot and recover from symptoms without lost wages in a push to get every American 16 and older vaccinated.
“No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated,” Biden said in a Wednesday press briefing.
He called on every employer to offer full pay to employees who need time off to get a vaccine and recover from any side effects.
Businesses with 500 employees or fewer can use the tax credit to offset the costs of paid leave for up to 80 work hours, according to the plan. The IRS will be using money from the American Rescue Plan to fund the tax credits.
“Every employee should get paid leave to get a shot and businesses should know that they can provide it without a hit to their bottom line. There’s no excuse for not getting it done in the weeks ahead,” Biden said.
The announcement came as Biden hit his goal of administering 200 million shots in his first 100 days in office.
All Americans age 16 and older became eligible for vaccination on Monday, per federal mandate, “If you’ve been waiting your turn, wait no longer,” Biden said.
He added that more than 80% of people over 65 have gotten at least one shot and 90% of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site.
Despite the encouraging progress, Biden said it still isn’t time to let down our guard.
“If we let up now and stop being vigilant this virus will erase the progress we’ve already achieved,” Biden said. He added that the nation is still on track to “celebrate independence” from the virus on July 4 with small gatherings and a greater sense of normalcy.