Covid vaccine: More than 90% of federal workers have had a shot by Biden’s deadline

Officials confirm most federal workers have now got the mandated vaccine

Helen Elfer
Monday 22 November 2021 16:44
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A US official has confirmed that more than 90% of federal workers have received at least one Covid vaccination shot by President Joe Biden’s deadline of Monday November 22.

Mr Biden announced in September that all federal workers were required to have at least the first dose of a Covid vaccine by that date. Unlike other mandates, there was not the option to undergo regular testing instead, unless a medical or religious exemption was approved.

The US official, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the vast majority of the 3.5 million federal workers affected by the rules are now fully vaccinated.

Those who have not yet complied with the mandate are expected to begin a “counseling” process, which can lead to them losing their jobs if they don’t get vaccinated or secure an approved exemption.

More details on the statistics are to be released officially later today.

The Biden administration has been campaigning hard to get people across the country vaccinated, and the strict rules for federal workers have been viewed as a test case for further action.

There was a significant pushback against the rules in some quarters, most notably law enforcement workers who were particularly vocal in objecting to the mandate. Federal workers involved in the travel sector also voiced concerns about the timing, given the approach of the busy holiday season.

Biden plans to use the federal vaccination mandate as a model for private businesses to enforce their own vaccine programs for employees, although litigation on the matter is pending.

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