The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of federal workers seems to be working, with no apparent disruption to law enforcement, intelligence-gathering, or holiday travel. One day after the deadline for compliance, 92% of the 3.5 million federal workers covered by President Joe Biden’s mandate on Tuesday reported to the government that they were at least partially vaccinated, according to White House officials.
In total, 96.5% of employees have been deemed in compliance with the policy, including through medical or religious exemptions that are still being evaluated. The rest are considered out of compliance, but officials emphasized that “it’s not a cliff” and that workers will receive counseling to get vaccinated or file for an exemption. Only then would termination be considered.
Since instituting mandates, the White House has believed the federal government could serve as a model for the nation. “We know vaccine requirements work,” said White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz. “We hope that our implementation sends the clear message to businesses to move forward with similar measures that will protect their workforce, protect their customers and protect our communities.”
Folks, the rule of thumb on boosters is simple: if you’re over 18 and got vaccinated more than six months ago, go get boosted. It makes a big difference in your immunity, and will provide you critical protection going into the holidays. Go to https://t.co/4MYpWqXVVo.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 23, 2021
The numbers from the Internal Revenue Service’s workforce show how a mandate can drive up the vaccination rate. About 25% of the agency’s employees first got a shot after President Biden announced the mandate in September; now, 98% are in compliance.
The White House: Around 95% of the 3.5 million federal employees covered by President Biden's vaccine mandate for government workers have complied with the requirement ahead of its deadline.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 23, 2021
Agencies with marginally lower vaccination rates tend to have widely dispersed workforces. Several intelligence agencies apparently had at least 20% of their workforce still unvaccinated as of late October, said Republican Representative Chris Stewart of Utah, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association said at about the same time that there are about 31,000 members from 65 federal law enforcement agencies in the association with an estimated 60% of them vaccinated.
📌COURTS & VACCINE MANDATE—How was Biden’s #VaccineMandate for private employers temporarily suspended? ➡️it was suspended by a decision by the US federal 5th Circuit Court…. Which is hugely dominated by Trump & Bush appointed judges 19-7.
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) November 18, 2021
The federal vaccination rate outpaces the rate of vaccination for all Americans. About 82.2% of American adults, or more than 212 million people, have received at least one dose.