White House continues vaccine mandate push for federal employees and others

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WASHINGTON D.C (NEXSTAR) — The White House COVID-19 Response Team says the president’s vaccine mandate is helping curb the virus.

“The federal government has achieved 95% compliance and 90% of the 3.5 million federal workers are already vaccinated,” COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said.

Zients says federal employees are answering the president’s call.

“We have 98% compliance at the IRS. At the FBI, 99% compliance,” Zients said.

He says the mandate’s goal is to protect workers.

“Vaccination requirements are good for workers and the economy,” Zients said.

However, some organizations want the remaining employees to have the same Jan. 4 deadline as federal contractors.

In a statement, the American Federation of Government Employees said “this double standard has caused confusion and distress among federal employees.”

That’s not the only group pushing back. In Oklahoma, the governor has ordered the National Guard in his state to not enforce the military mandate.

But Zients says it’s mandates like these that will help defeat the coronavirus.

“Looking at the federal workforce vaccination data makes one thing obvious: vaccination requirements work,” Zients said.

The small percentage of federal employees who don’t comply with the mandate will not face immediate dismissal.

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