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VA mandates vaccination for clinical staff

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week that agency employees involved in patient care have eight weeks to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to a VA COVID-19 data dashboard, just over 300,000 VA employees are fully vaccinated against coronavirus infection, along with 28,982 "federal partners." Overall, VA has a workforce of more than 380,000 – most of whom are involved in patient care in the Veterans Health Administration.

As of July 23, according to VA data, 146 agency employees have died as a result of coronavirus infection. The VA has also reported 12,679 deaths from COVID-19 among its patient population, with 4,237 inpatient deaths and 8,442 known deaths outside of VA facilities.

"We're mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it's the best way to keep veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country," VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement, which was issued Monday, July 26. "Whenever a veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19."

The mandate makes the VA the first federal agency to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. VA staff will receive four hours of paid administrative leave post-vaccination, the agency said.

The move comes less than a week after the agency announced a reset of relations with unions representing agency personnel after a very contentious period during the Trump administration.

The VA's press release doesn't specify any consequences for employees who are not vaccinated by the eight-week deadline.

This story was previously published – and may be updated with additional information – oFCWa FederalSoup partner site.

Reader comments

Fri, Jul 30, 2021 Claudette Scales Asheville, N.C.

this is not right. what will the Gov. make us do next? If we give in they feel they can tell us to do anything. Just like Putin. This is our bodies and if we say no then no means no. Do not take our rights away.

Wed, Jul 28, 2021

Very sad that our gov. is mandating vax. Where are the rights of the people. They don't know enough about them yet!! God help us!

Wed, Jul 28, 2021

"...after a very contentious period during the Trump administration." Blah blah blah, you can't help yourself still taking digs at him while everything gets worse all around in the country with this new "administration" Keep defending your conniving unions and trampling our rights with this manipulated virus. Get a clue people!

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