Healthcare workers employed by the federal government of United States will be required to be vaccinated for coronavirus, the Health Department announced in a statement Thursday.
The measure affects 25,000 employees who have contact with patients at health centers run directly by the federal government, including staff from the Indian Health Service, which cares for members of Native tribes across the country.
The statement did not specify a deadline for employees to be vaccinated.
“Our primary focus is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce. And vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from covid-19, prevent the spread of the delta variant and save lives,” said Health Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Vaccination against seasonal flu and other routine vaccinations are already required for most healthcare workers employed by the federal government, according to the statement.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that vaccination against COVID-19 will be mandatory starting in mid-September for all members of the US military, a decision “strongly supported” by President Joe Biden.
In late July, Biden had asked the military to consider “how and when” to add the covid-19 vaccine to the list of mandatory vaccinations for troops.
At the same time, the White House announced that millions of federal employees would have to get vaccinated or face a series of restrictions.
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