Washington, Sept. 9, 2021
U.S. President Joe Biden plans to require all federal employees and government contractors to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.
In July, Biden said federal workers had to get vaccinated or face regular COVID-19 testing and such other safety rules as mandatory face masks wearing at workplaces and restrictions on official travel.
Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday that would cover millions of federal workers and contractors that do business with the federal government, the source said.
As part of the vaccination push, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the National Institute of Health “will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people,’’ the source said.
In a speech later on Thursday, Biden would focus on new plans to get more people vaccinated, enhancing protection for those who already have had shots, and keeping schools open, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Just over 53 per cent of Americans are fully vaccinated, including almost two-thirds of the adult population, according to CDC data.
The disease has killed more than 651,000 Americans.