More than 90 percent of federal workers have received at least one dose of a Wuhan coronavirus vaccine, the White House announced on Monday, the deadline for President Biden’s federal employee vaccine mandate.
As reported by The Hill, another roughly 5 percent of workers are in compliance with the mandate by having a valid exemption from the vaccine or an extension request. This brings the total to 95 percent in compliance out of 3.5 million federal employees required to get inoculated.
In a statement to The Hill, a White House senior administration official said that the mandate demonstrates “progress” and should serve as a model for businesses “of every size” to emulate.
“As the progress across the Federal government has shown, these requirements work — and we hope that our implementation can serve as an example for other businesses of every size to move forward with similar measures that will protect their workforce, protect their customers, and protect our communities,” the official said.
For the minority of workers who are not in compliance with the mandate, “agencies are beginning an education and counseling process, followed by additional enforcement steps over time if needed,” the White House official reportedly added.
The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force’s website notes that “employees covered by Executive Order 14043 who fail to comply with a requirement to be fully vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination and have neither received an exception nor have an exception request under consideration, are in violation of a lawful order. Employees who violate lawful orders are subject to discipline, up to and including termination or removal. Consistent with the Administration’s policy, agencies should initiate an enforcement process to work with employees to encourage their compliance.”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that they “do not anticipate facing any governmental operational disruptions due to this requirement.” She added that the vaccine requirement would “avoid” disruptions in the labor force because it helps workers avoid COVID-19.
As Katie reported, in September, Biden announced a slew of vaccine mandates affecting federal workers and workers at companies with 100 or more employees. In his announcement, he stated “We are going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers” and “this is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting those around you.”