As the U.S. faces a growing count of Covid cases, a key milestone set by President Joe Biden has been met, with more than 95% of federal workers received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine a deadline set for today by the president, AP reports.
Biden announced in September that more than 3.5 million federal workers were required to undergo vaccination, with no with option to get regularly tested instead, unless they secured an approved medical or religious exemption. A U.S. official said the vast majority of federal workers are fully vaccinated, and that a smaller number have pending or approved exceptions to the mandate.
In all, more than 95% of federal workers are in compliance with the Biden mandate, the official said, either by being vaccinated or having requested an exemption. Workers who are not in compliance are set to begin a “counseling” process that could ultimately result in their termination if they don’t get a shot or secure an approved exception to vaccination.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the statistics because the official wasn’t authorized to speak on the record before their official release later Monday.
The deadline is a major test of Biden’s push to compel people across the country to get vaccinated, as his administration has emphasized that vaccination is the nation’s surest way out from the pandemic. Beyond the federal worker rule, his administration is looking to compel large businesses to institute vaccinate-or-testing requirements that would cover more than 84 million workers, though plans for January enforcement have been on hold pending litigation.
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