There is no obvious disturbance of the mandate of the vaccine

There is no obvious disturbance of the mandate of the vaccine

Washington The vaccine mandate that the Biden administration has issued to millions of federal workers appears to be working, without any apparent disruption to law enforcement, intelligence gathering or vacation travel.

On Tuesday, a day after the compliance deadline, 92% of the 3.5 million federal workers covered by Biden’s mandate for the government reported having received at least a partial vaccination, according to White House officials.

The largest number of partial vaccinations as of Tuesday was in the Agency for International Development, with 97.8%, closely followed by the Department of Health and Human Services with 96.4%, and the State Department with 96.1%, according to data provided by the White House Wednesday. .

Law enforcement agencies lag behind on vaccines, with the Department of Justice at 89.8%. The Department of Veterans Affairs had 87.8% of its partial vaccinations, although the Department of Defense was 93.4% and the Department of Homeland Security was 88.9%. The government office with the lowest number of partially vaccinated employees is the Department of Agriculture at 86.1%.

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But overall, 96.5% of federal employees were deemed compliant with the policy, which also includes medical or religious exemptions that are still being evaluated. The rest is considered out of compliance, but officials emphasized it was “not a ramp,” and that workers would be counseled to get vaccinated or apply for an exemption. Only then will termination be considered.

“We know the vaccine requirements are working,” White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz said. “We hope our app sends a clear message for companies to move forward with similar measures that will protect their workforce, protect their customers, and protect our communities.”

White House officials said the data is only a snapshot and that the numbers will continue to rise in the coming days and weeks.

Since putting the initial vaccine or testing mandate in place this summer and then the more restrictive clause without a testing option this fall, the White House has believed the federal government could serve as a model for the rest of the country’s employers of how vaccines can help return more quickly to normal.

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White House officials say the most important lesson for companies from the federal experience is that once they take the first step toward the requirements, their workers will follow.

Figures from the Internal Revenue Service show how authorization can raise the vaccination rate. About 25% of the agency’s workforce got a chance after Biden announced the mandate in September; Now, 98% are complying.

Agencies with slightly lower vaccination rates tend to have a widely dispersed workforce, which makes education and counseling about the benefits of vaccines — or even the task of getting workers to self-report that they have already received an injection — more difficult.

Republican Representative Chris Stewart of Utah, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said several intelligence agencies appeared to have had at least 20% of their workforce unvaccinated as of late October.

Around the same time, Larry Cosmi, president of the Federal Association of Law Enforcement Officers, said there were about 31,000 members from 65 federal law enforcement agencies in the association and it was estimated that 60% of them had been vaccinated.

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The Florida Federal Correctional Officers’ Union sued the mandate last week, saying it was a civil rights violation. The case is pending.

Some initial concerns about the vaccination status of the federal workforce arose from employees who did not have access to government computers to submit their vaccination certificate. Some, such as frontline TSA officers, rarely use a government computer. Others are out in the field or simply late in responding to the survey or the start of vaccination.

The federal vaccination rate exceeds the vaccination rate for all Americans. About 82.2% of American adults, or more than 212 million people, have received at least one dose. Of these, about 71%, or more than 183 million, have been fully vaccinated.

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