White House: Over 90% of federal workers have at least one COVID-19 shot

More than 90% of the 3.5 million federal employees subject to President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate have received at least one dose, the White House said Monday, the deadline to comply.

Officials said an additional 5% have received a medical or religious exemption or extra time to come into compliance.

“We are successfully implementing vaccination requirements for the largest workforce in the United States,” White House COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zients said.

Agencies are expected to announce their own vaccination rates in the coming days. Mr. Zients said 98% of the Internal Revenue Service, for instance, is vaccinated.

Mr. Zients said the remaining minority of employees who have not been vaccinated or granted an exemption will not fall off a “cliff” that results in them being terminated. 

Instead, each agency will begin an “education and counseling” process, he said.

Mr. Biden announced the mandate in early September as part of a broader plan to combat the fast-moving delta variant, which upended once-promising efforts to wrangle the virus across America.

The president also mandated shots for millions of federal contractors, millions of health workers and the armed services, and issued a rule through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that would require companies with 100 or more workers to mandate the shots or make sure unvaccinated workers are tested at least once a week by Jan. 4.

The OSHA regulation is on hold as federal appeals courts consider lawsuits against the rule. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stayed the mandate, prompting the agency to suspend activities around it.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

Health, The New York Today

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