More than 90% of the nation’s 3.5 million federal workers have gotten at least one COVID shot with the “vast majority” of employees fully vaccinated and another 5% either requesting an extension or exemption, the Biden administration was expected to announce on Monday.
Officials said the numbers — which include civilian and military personnel — show the government won’t see disruptions this holiday season in because of the mandate.
It’s still unclear though exactly how many workers in critical jobs like border patrol, prisons and airport security have sought medical or religious exemptions. It also wasn’t immediately clear when those employees would run out of options if denied, with agencies just now beginning the counseling process but given ample leeway to decide how to handle workers who refuse to get a shot.
“There won’t be disruptions to government services and operations,” said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity in advance of an announcement later Monday. “At each step of this process we’ll see even more employees getting vaccinated.”
Overall, the White House says 95% of employees total are “in compliance,” meaning they either have at least one dose or have filed a medical or religious exemption or asked for an extension, said the official. That includes 93% of workers at the Transportation Security Administration.