90% of US federal workers have received at least one COVID-19 dose – White House

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (Reuters) – The White House confirmed Monday that more than 90% of the 3.5 million federal employees under a presidential COVID-19 vaccine mandate had received at least one dose before Monday’s deadline.

In all, the government has ruled that 95% of federal employees have met the requirements in that they have either been vaccinated, complete vaccinations or have a pending religious or medical waiver application, the White House said.

Officials declined to disclose the total number of fully vaccinated federal workers, but said the “vast majority” of the 90% received both doses.

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White House officials on Monday confirmed the numbers first reported by Reuters.

The numbers suggest relatively high vaccination rates for federal workers compared to the U.S. population as a whole, and underscore the Biden administration’s efforts to get every American vaccinated in a bid to control COVID-19.

Officials said the final numbers would change as employees continue to submit documentation until the deadline later Monday, and all employee submissions may not have been processed yet. The figures suggest that up to 175,000 federal workers may not be vaccinated and not yet comply with the rules.

The government has repeatedly said it will not immediately seek to suspend or fire unvaccinated workers. Officials said the fact that thousands of workers had not yet paid would not affect vacation travel or government services.

“Already 95% of[U.S. government employees]meet the president’s vax requirement. There are no disruptions to the requirement,” White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said on Twitter.

White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said 99% of Federal Aviation Administration employees, nearly 98% of Customs and Border Protection and 93% of Transportation Security Administration employees are compliant with vaccine and exemption requirements.

“When we look at federal staff vaccination records, one thing becomes clear: the vaccination requirements are working,” Zients said.

Zients added that 99% of employees at the FBI, 98% at the Internal Revenue Service and 99% of employees in the President’s White House Executive Office adhere to it.

On Nov. 1, the Pentagon said 97% of active-duty troops had received at least one dose of COVID-19.

‘EDUCATION AND ADVICE’

The vaccine mandate imposed by President Joe Biden in September does not apply to federal employees in the judiciary, legislature or the US Postal Service.

The White House has told agencies that for federal employees who fail to abide by the rules, the agencies must begin “a short period of education and counseling” of five days. If employees do not show “progress towards being fully vaccinated”, that should be “followed by a short suspension” of no more than 14 days. If an employee is given a first chance, agencies are instructed to stop any disciplinary action.

Officials are confident that once the disciplinary process begins, an increasing number of federal workers will be vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the White House Office of Management and Budget will release agency-by- agency data on vaccinated workers and employees that comply with the rules of 24 major federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, Health and Human Services and others. . More detailed data will be released in the next week.

Employees whose waiver request has been denied have two weeks to receive their first injection and an additional six weeks to receive their second injection.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Peter Cooney

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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