vial of covid vaccine (Kunal Mahto/

Reports: Feds face required vaccination

Federal employees across all agencies will soon face mandatory COVID vaccination—or, in the alternative, regular and repeated testing. 

This breaking news—as initially reported by the Washington Post, CNN and the Wall Street Journal—comes amid a continuing mid-summer slowdown in voluntary vaccinations across the country, especially in the South and Midwest, and an accompanying rapid rise in COVID cases and hospitalizations due to the fast-spreading “delta” variant.  

To date, the new wave is particularly dangerous—and killing swathes of people—only in specific regions and cities, reports say. That unfortunate situation is occurring in areas with lower vaccination rates. But unless far more of the population gets the shot, scary projections of up to several thousand deaths per day by October appear plausible.

The new vaccination requirement for feds will likely come with exemptions for religious and health reasons.

The renewed push to vaccinate more feds follows the issuance of such a requirement specific to clinical workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as increasingly stringent inoculation policies recently put in place by two states crushed by COVID in previous waves—New York and California. It also parallels the CDC’s issuance of a renewed push—in fact, a reversal—toward recommending far more mask-wearing, notably "in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission," conditions occurring in more of the country each day now. 

The Washington Post story notes that pushing to inoculate just about all federal employees would be a big step. The pool of feds—including Postal Service employees—who would come directly under the mandate is estimated to be over 4 million. Ripple effects, and possible follow-on vaccination campaigns and additional efforts in the private and non-profit federal sector could touch an estimated 6 million-plus additional contractors and grantees. (The vaccination regulation, according to reports, will not apply to the military.)

The bottom line is that the federal government—even without including contractors—remains the country’s largest employer. This new and stronger push against COVID from within it could help to curb COVID outside it, too.

Reader comments

Tue, Aug 24, 2021 Scott Hines, IL

I'm a Camp Lejeune Marine. I trusted my goverment to protect me. I was posioned by the water there in the 70's. From 1953-1987 they knew the water was bad and killing people. I have bladder cancer and NASH of the liver from it. My children aqnd grandchildren have health issues from it. So, no thank you, I will not take the vaccine.

Mon, Aug 16, 2021

I have no idea what “love island” or “big brother” are so not sure who’s stupid. I am as pro-vaccine as you can get but I don’t want a foreign substance, different from any previous vaccine of actual weakened or killed viruses, injected into my arm that doesn’t remain at the injection site, travels all over the body doing its thing (explains the clots and strokes) and can never be removed. Stupid is not understanding that and going along with the others because they call you stupid. No point with someone like you, just casting pearls before swine.

Tue, Aug 10, 2021

If you work for the government one would assume that you would have a certain amount of common sense and smarts to go along with it. Those of you who are not getting or are against the vaccine are just plain stupid. Go watch more love island and big brother.

Fri, Aug 6, 2021 wsnell

Remember, if your employer requires vaccination they may be legally liable for any side-effects and health issues it creates.

Mon, Aug 2, 2021

no one should have to do this, and esp not for unapproved vaccines and tests

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