All California health care workers, who were mandated earlier this year to get vaccinated against COVID-19, will also be required to get a booster shot, the governor announced Tuesday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement on his social media channels with a post saying, "With Omicron on the rise, we're taking immediate actions to protect Californians and ensure our hospitals are prepared."
Full details of the mandate are expected to be released during a formal announcement Wednesday.
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The state in August issued a first-in-the-nation requirement for health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate required them to receive their second dose by Sept. 30.
As the omicron COVID-19 variant surges through the country, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the government would provide 500 million free rapid tests, increase support for hospitals under strain and redouble vaccination and boosting efforts.
In remarks Tuesday at the White House, Biden detailed major changes to his COVID-19 winter plan, his hand forced by the arrival of the fast-spreading variant, whose properties are yet not fully understood by scientists. Yet his message was clear that the winter holidays could be close to normal for the vaccinated while potentially dangerous for the unvaccinated.