Joe Biden to require federal workers to get COVID shot
Image via AP.

Joe Biden
No more opt-out option; federal workers, contractors will have to get juiced.

President Joe Biden on Thursday is toughening COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors as he aims to boost vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.

Just weeks after he mandated federal workers get a shot or face rigorous testing and masking protocols, Biden will sign a new executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The word comes ahead of the president’s speech Thursday afternoon outlining a six-pronged plan to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases and the stagnating pace of COVID-19 shots.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Biden’s order includes exceptions for workers or contractors seeking religious or medical exemptions from vaccination. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s plans before they were publicly released.

Biden is also expected to outline plans to increase virus testing in schools, in an effort to keep them open safely, amid other measures to show that his administration is working to tackle the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, which Biden has blamed for last month’s weaker-than-expected jobs report. He’s warned the surge could further imperil the nation’s economy as some pandemic safety net protections expire.

Biden has encouraged COVID-19 vaccine requirements in settings like schools, workplaces and university campuses, and the White House hopes the strengthened federal mandate will inspire more businesses to follow suit.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health have previously announced vaccine requirements for much of their staffs, and the Pentagon moved last month to require all servicemembers to get vaccinated.

More than 208 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 177 million are fully vaccinated, but confirmed cases of the virus have shot up in recent weeks to an average of about 140,000 per day with on average about 1,000 Americans dying from the virus daily, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of the spread — and the vast majority of severe illness and death — is occurring among those not yet fully vaccinated against the virus. So-called breakthrough infections in vaccinated people occur, but tend to be far less dangerous.

Federal officials are moving ahead with plans to begin administering booster shots of the mRNA vaccines to bolster protection against the more transmissible delta variant of the virus. Last month Biden announced plans to make them available beginning on Sept. 20, but only the Pfizer vaccine will likely have received regulatory approval for a third dose by that time. Federal regulators are seeking additional data from Moderna that will likely delay its booster approval until October.

Officials are aiming to administer the booster shots about eight months after the second dose of the two-dose vaccines.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


11 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    September 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Obviously, there will have to be a database of employees recording when they were vaccinated, with what vaccine, where and by whom, as well as information collected on their medical histories so science can study the consequences and, along with that, contact tracing to see when anyone who gets it despite the vaccine was in contact with some other person or people. This is all useful information and necessary to the struggle. In accord with that and as a reward for compliance, individuals who acted forthrightly for the common good will get a boost in their social credit scores, which similarly are located in the database. Maybe they will get something nice as a vaccine passport, too, rather than a mere slip of paper. How about a a star they can wear on their collars? A red star? Wouldn’t that be nice!

    Reply

    • Alex

      September 9, 2021 at 11:19 am

      That was a waste of perfectly good electrons.

      Reply

  • Alex

    September 9, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Good!

    If you aren’t smart and responsible enough to get vaccinated, go find another job.

    Reply

    • Ron Ogden

      September 9, 2021 at 12:57 pm

      Gee, not be a bureaucrat anymore? Not be a White House flunky? Why would someone want to give up a GS-13 as Jen Psaki’s color consultant? Give up the chance to strike out every time as a diplomat and so condemn untold numbers of people to the religious tyranny of the Taliban? Give up all that in exchnage for what, the glow of personal responsibility and self-determination? Nah!

      Reply

      • Alex

        September 9, 2021 at 1:32 pm

        No dirty disease spreading losers on my dime.

        Reply

        • Ron Ogden

          September 11, 2021 at 5:50 pm

          Obama, for example?

          Reply

          • PeterH

            September 11, 2021 at 5:53 pm

            Obama is vaccinated!

            We’re talking about UNVACCINATED RED STATERS who are contaminating our hospitals!

  • Impeach Biden

    September 9, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I thought Joe was pro choice. Maybe he still is but he isn’t calling the shots, the teleprompter is.

    Reply

    • Ocean Joe

      September 11, 2021 at 8:35 am

      Ed, I always look for the teleprompter, and when I dont see it, I figure they are using a close up to hide it especially if Mr. Biden says something coherent.. But don’t forget Trump, who couldn’t read very well, butchering common text, Yosemite among others. Come to think of it a lot of Americans got butchered by an incompetent response to covid. I will take stuttering, stammering Joe and his teleprompter over the crazy guy any time.

      Reply

  • PeterH

    September 9, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    If the daily deaths in Florida continue at the same rate we will have 50,000 Florida Covid deaths by the end of October.

    Ron DeSantis will pay for his intransigence. Coffins aren’t a very nice foundation for a candidate’s platform.

    Reply

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