Unvaccinated Federal Workers Granted Some Reprieve, For Now
President Joe Biden‘s vaccine mandate for federal employees has been enormously successful. Last week, his administration announced that “nearly all 3.5 million federal government employees have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, highlighting the effectiveness of Biden’s mandate that all federal workers get inoculated against the coronavirus.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Kevin Munoz tweeted that “already 95% of USG employees are in compliance with the President’s vax requirement. There are no disruptions related to the requirement; we’ll avoid Covid-related disruptions through vaccinations. Today isn’t a cliff and we’ll be working with employees.”
Already 95% of USG employees are in compliance with the President’s vax requirement. There are no disruptions related to the requirement; we’ll avoid COVID-related disruptions through vaccinations. Today isn’t a cliff and we’ll be working with employees. https://t.co/BSHWzlEODQ
— Kevin Munoz (@KMunoz46) November 22, 2021
Ninety-nine percent of employees at FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration and 98% of Customs and Border Protection and 93% of Transportation Security Administration employees have followed the vaccine and exemption rules.
The deadline for workers to receive their shots or submit personal medical or religious exemption requests was November 22.
Today, however, the White House revealed that it will not consider imposing penalties on still-unvaccinated personnel until sometime in 2022.
The deadline was “not a cliff and that our goal is to protect workers, not penalize anyone,” a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.
“That’s why we’ve encouraged agencies to continue the education and counseling period in December for the small number of employees not already in compliance and delay most suspensions and removals until the new year,” the spokesperson said. “We’re seeing a strong increase in compliance and believe this is the best approach to vaccinate more employees.”
Biden also addressed the American people from the White House on Monday to alleviate growing fears about the newly-discovered omicron coronavirus variant.
Omicron is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” the president said. “We’re throwing everything we have at this virus, tracking it from every angle. I’m sparing no effort, removing all roadblocks to keep the American people safe.”