Qiagen supports White House COVID-19 vaccination, test mandate
German genetic testing specialist Qiagen said on Friday (Sep 10) it supported Biden administration's new COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate for workplaces.
"We strongly support all initiatives aiming to increase vaccination rates especially at the workplace," the company told Reuters in an email.
Qiagen said it had already updated its policies to make vaccination compulsory for certain employee groups at its US locations.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced policies requiring most federal employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations and pushing large and small private employers to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly.
The White House said it will spend nearly US$2 billion on 280 million rapid COVID-19 tests to support the drive.
Abbott Laboratories, one of the largest US manufacturers of rapid COVID-19 tests, said it was quickly working to scale up manufacturing of its two tests - BinaxNOW and ID NOW test kits - including hiring additional employees.
Increased capacity will ensure availability of tens of millions more tests in the coming weeks and months, the medical device maker said.
The new vaccination mandate could apply to as many as 100 million Americans - close to two-thirds of the country's workforce - and amount to Biden's strongest push yet for inoculation.
Southwest Airlines, which has more than 54,000 employees, said it was prepared to move toward compliance with the mandate.
"We continue to strongly encourage our Employees to seek and obtain vaccination, and to share their vaccination status with us," the company said.