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Democratic gubernatorial candidate calls for all Virginia employers to mandate employee COVID-19 vaccination

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Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe wants all Virginia employers to mandate that eligible employees get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Today, I am calling on every Virginia employer to require all eligible employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. I have long said that the best way to defeat this deadly virus, keep our students in school and keep Virginia's economy strong is by getting every eligible Virginian vaccinated as quickly as possible. Today's announcement puts us one important step closer to reaching that goal," McAuliffe said in a statement. "Together, we can beat this virus once and for all, keep our fellow Virginians safe, and keep our Commonwealth's economy running strong."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that is has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for individuals 16 and older, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine to secure the agency's full approval.

"The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals," according to the FDA.

McAuliffe, who previously served as governor of Virginia from early 2014 until 2018, is facing off against Republican Glenn Youngkin in the state's gubernatorial contest this November.

"I made the choice to get vaccinated and encourage everyone to join me in doing that, but ultimately it is a personal decision to do so," Youngkin tweeted.

During remarks on Monday, President Joe Biden called for more private sector companies to impose vaccination requirements. The president urged any business, nonprofit, state and local leaders who have been waiting for full FDA approval before instituting a vaccination requirement to move ahead now and impose such a requirement.

"Require it. Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements," Biden said.

The president announced last month that federal government employees would be required to attest to their vaccination status and that those who have not been vaccinated would face once or twice weekly testing, be required to wear a mask, and required to socially distance.

So far 60.2% of the U.S. population ages 12 and older has been fully vaccinated while 71% of that demographic has received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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