US President Joe Biden talks about 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered in the United States during an event held at the Eisenhower Executive Office in Washington, DC on February 25, 2021.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zientes said at a briefing on Monday that more than 90% of the more than 3.5 million federal workers covered by President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate will receive at least one dose by the government’s deadline.
“The vast majority of these employees” are fully vaccinated, which is in line with the Biden administration’s November 22 deadline for all federal workers to be vaccinated against COVID, a senior administration official wrote in an email to CNBC. Federal employees achieved 95% compliance between those who received at least one dose of the vaccine and employees who applied for an exemption or extension, the official added.
“We are successfully implementing vaccination requirements for the largest workforce in the United States, with federal employees in all parts of the country and around the world,” Zientes said.
Zients reported about 99% compliance with the FBI and the FAA and about 98% with the IRS and Customs and Border Protection. According to Zinets, about 93% of the employees of the Transport Security Administration also fulfilled their obligations.
Federal personnel who have not been immunized against the virus or provided proof of vaccination may ultimately be fired, according to guidelines posted on the Federal Safety Task Force’s website.
“Employees who violate legal orders are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or dismissal,” the working group wrote.
“Government agencies are now starting a ‘learning and counseling process’ for their disobedient employees,” Zientes said. The task force advises agencies to spend five days on the training process before assigning a 14-day suspension for workers who continue to refuse vaccinations or provide required documentation.
“Continued non-compliance during the suspension could be followed by a proposal for removal,” the task force wrote.
The Office of Management and Budget will release a chart on Wednesday that will reflect the percentage of staff in each agency that has fulfilled the mandate, the official said.
The White House announcement came after a federal appeals court forced the Biden administration to suspend vaccination and testing mandates for private businesses. These Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations apply to any company with at least 100 employees and require its employees to take negative Covid tests weekly if they are not fully vaccinated by January 4th. Unvaccinated workers were required to start wearing masks indoors in the workplace. starting from December 5th.
The American Federation of Government Officials, a union representing roughly 700,000 civil servants, also called on the Biden administration last week to push back the federal staff deadline. AFGE’s proposed new deadline will be January 4, which will give government officials the opportunity to get vaccinated before the holiday ends.
CNBC Leslie Josephs and Spencer Kimball contributed to this report.