Texas Army National Guard (Airman 1st Class Charissa A. Menken)

Report: Vaccinations up, but DOD won’t require employees to disclose

The Department of Defense has administered almost 3,140,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to servicemembers, employees and other “eligible beneficiaries” via its own inoculation program, according to DOD—and, like other feds, still more in the department have obtained protection from outside providers.

And now, the department has come to a decision on the privacy of information on the vaccination status of the over 700,000-strong civilian workforce at the department, as described in a new piece in FedWeek.

DOD managers, according to the reported policy decision, can ask about the time and place of a civilian employee’s vaccination—in the context of establishing and reporting the leave time, if needed, to get the injection or time off due to its (usually at most mild and temporary) side effects.

But the same DOD policy notes that there is, to date, no general requirement that all DOD civilian employees obtain vaccination. And it concludes that information regarding vaccination status is also not required for current or prospective employment—with the exception of certain, unspecified “limited circumstances.”

The DOD offers internal statistics on its website with detailed and updated information on the numbers of civilian employees and servicemembers who have been partially and fully vaccinated, and other aspects of its vaccination program. In the civilian employee column, more than a third of the total are reported as having been fully vaccinated.

While the impressive and rising numbers of protected employees offer evidence of progress toward greater health and safety at the department,  tragically DOD counts that over 4,000 of its own have been hospitalized and 348 killed by the virus.

The takeaway: If you are DOD and you or any family members haven’t already been vaccinated, consult the department’s online resources on doing so, asap.

Reader comments

Mon, May 24, 2021 Gordon

That's a pretty big fail, folks. I mean 350 dead from the virus. I would have thought masking up early on in close quarters would have kept it lower than that. A terrible toll. There ought to be a ceremony for all the uniformed and civilian employees who died from this scourge, honoring them.

Thu, May 20, 2021

my DoD organization has been tracking who is and is not vaccinated since the vaccine has been available and reporting up the CoC

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