By Paul Gessler

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland has around 150,000 federal employees but the expanded vaccine requirements announced Thursday by President Joe Biden will affect so many more.

“The bottom line: we’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” said President Biden.

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The president’s action plan announced on Thursday mandates private-sector companies with more than 100 workers require employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly. It’s expected to impact over 80 million

“It’s very difficult because people are grown up. You can not force them, you know?.. but, people are suffering because of that type of ignorance,” said Virginia Makumi.

“When the vaccine first came out, people were coming in droves to get it,” said Anne Miller of Kansas City.

The hesitancy among those still unvaccinated is cited as a reason the president is also requiring all federal and contract workers to get their shots — or face losing their jobs.

“I mean, there’s a little bit of me, to be honest, that thinks maybe it’s just a little bit much to mandate it for your job, but I’m not completely against doing it,” said Shanna Martorano.

“It’s just a request. ‘Please, do it. Get vaccinated,” said Makumi.

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Nearly 6,300 people work at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn. If the vaccine rate matches the state’s, that means more than 1,000 remain unvaccinated.”

“If you’re gonna lose your job, my opinion is let’s get vaccinated now and stay safe,” said Tiewon White.

White is part of the cleaning crew at Social Security, —  a campus mostly remote during the pandemic.

For many at the inner harbor, the time is past due to get vaccinated.

“My wife’s a nurse. We both got vaccinated as soon as we could. We didn’t need a $25 gift card to do that. It’s for the public good,” said Ken Miller.

“You are not doing it for republican or democratic. You are doing it to help each other, you know.,” said Makumi.

Many businesses WJZ has reached out to said they are still developing guidelines and timetables for their employees.

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Biden’s plan requires health care workers at facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid to be vaccinated and calls for those businesses with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off to get vaccinated.

Paul Gessler