H.H.S. Will Require its Health Workers to Get the Covid Vaccine
The Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it would take more than 25,000 health workers – including contractors and volunteers – to receive coronavirus vaccines, becoming the latest federal agency to put implement such a mandate.
The HHS requirement goes beyond President Biden’s announcement last month that federal civilian workers should either be vaccinated or undergo regular testing, social distancing, mask wear and limits official trips. HHS employees will not have the option to decline the vaccine and get tested regularly instead, though the department has said it will go through the process for other vaccine requirements, which allow medical exemptions and religious.
Members of the Indian Health Service and the National Institutes of Health who work in federally run facilities and care for patients, and the US Public Health Service, a commissioned body of physicians headed by the surgeon general, are subject to the requirement, the mentioned department. These health workers are already required to receive influenza and other vaccines.
“We are looking at all possible means to increase vaccinations to ensure the safety of more people,” Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “And demanding that our HHS healthcare workers get vaccinated will protect our federal workers, and the patients and people they serve.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs was the first federal agency to issue a vaccination warrant, saying last month it would require 115,000 of its frontline health workers to be vaccinated. The Defense Ministry said earlier this week it would seek to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for the country’s 1.3 million active-duty soldiers “no later than” by the middle of next month.
The agency’s actions are part of the Biden administration’s growing drive to enact and encourage vaccine requirements inside and outside of government. President Biden on Wednesday met with business leaders and a university president who had imposed vaccination requirements, encouraging their efforts. He urged them to call on other leaders to do the same.
Mr Biden said at the time that he was asking federal agencies to find ways to ensure that all federal contractors are required to be vaccinated as a condition of their work. And he urged businesses and local governments to adopt his rules.
The administration’s focus on vaccine requirements comes at a difficult time in the country’s vaccination campaign, with tens of millions of adults still waiting for an injection as the most contagious Delta variant of the virus, has caused hospitals across the country to stretch. limits. About 71.3 percent of adults received at least one dose, and vaccination rates started to climb again, reaching more than 700,000 new doses given each day.
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