Deadline set for federal workers, contractors to be fully vaccinated

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Federal workers and contractors have until Nov. 22 to get the COVID vaccine under the Biden Administration’s new mandates, according to the White House vaccination coordinator.

Federal workers and contractors are just one of three groups the president is requiring get vaccinated in his federal mandate. As for the other two groups impacted, a date is being finalized right now.

The president’s COVID-19 action plan is requiring companies with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated or tested weekly. The Department of Labor is currently working on its Emergency Temporary Standard to ensure workers are getting the shot or a test.

Dr. Bechara Choucair says the agency will have that finalized in the coming weeks.

There’s also a vaccination requirement for healthcare workers in facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid. Dr. Choucair says the Department of Health and Human Services should have that plan finalized in 45-60 days.

While there has been pushback on the mandate, Georgia and South Carolina governors criticizing the effort, Dr. Choucair says it’s the path to putting the pandemic behind us.

“In the last 10 days, 93,000 Georgians rolled up their sleeves and got their very first shot,” Dr. Choucair said. “We know vaccine requirements work. They are the right thing. We know the American public supports vaccine requirements.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted last week, before the President finished his vaccine announcement, that he’d pursue “every legal option available to the State.”

White House officials say Biden does have the legal authority to ask agencies to carry out vaccine mandates.

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