The number of vaccinated feds has increased, although there are still thousands of pending exception and extension requests to the mandate.
Cdmr. James Fish, from West Chester, New York, USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Gun Boss, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the McCormick Gym onboard Naval Station Norfolk, April 8, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jackson Adkins)
The White House released updated compliance and vaccination rates across the federal workforce on Thursday. More federal employees have gotten the jab, although thousands of feds have pending or approved requests to be excepted from the mandate, or to get an extension to the deadline.
Three weeks after the Nov. 22 deadline for feds to be fully vaccinated, 92.5% of employees have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of Dec. 8. That’s up 0.5% from Nov. 24.
Feds with pending or approved extension or exception requests from the mandate are considered in compliance with the mandate.
As of Dec. 8, 97.2% of feds are in compliance, up from 96.5% when data was last publicly reported.
Still, a portion of the workforce has a pending or approved exception or extension request - 4.7%, or about 164,500 of the 3.5 million federal civil servants and active-duty military personnel governmentwide. That share has actually increased slightly since the last data release on Nov. 24.
It’s unclear what proportion of that group is waiting for a decision to be made for their request and what part has already received either an exception or extension.
The White House again stressed in the latest release of data that the enforcement process starts with education and counseling. It is also continuing to encourage agencies to not take additional enforcement beyond those until the new year. Enforcement for noncompliance can escalate up to removal from federal service.
The Department of Veterans Affairs leads when it comes to pending or approved requests for exceptions or extensions at 10.2% of the total workforce of more than 400,000. The Department Agriculture reports 9.7% of its workforce is seeking to delay or avoid vaccinations and the Department of Transportation is at 9%.
The most vaccinated agencies are the U.S. Agency for International Development at 98.1%, the National Science Foundation at 97.7% and the Department of Health and Human Services at 97.1%.
The most compliant agencies -- where employees have disclosed receiving a vaccination or requested an exemption or extensions are NSF and the Department of Education at 99.9%, DOT at 99.7% and HHS at 99.6%.
View the full agency-by-agency breakdown here.
The Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce, charged by the White House with implementing these COVID-19 requirements, has also updated its website to reflect recent court decisions on the contractor vaccine requirements.
The site says that the Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance on implementing the requirements with applicable court orders and injunctions. Days ago, a federal court blocked the contractor vaccination mandate in all states.
For existing contractors that have the clause implementing the vaccine requirement already, the government won’t enforce the clause in areas subject to a court order without more written notice from the agency, it says.
Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. commonwealths and territories are excluded from enforcement.
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