US health dept announces public-facing federal healthcare workers must get Covid jab
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that all public-facing federal healthcare workers will be required to get a Covid vaccine, following similar moves by other parts of the Biden administration.
In a statement on Thursday, Health Secretary Xavier Becerra explained that the move would affect 25,000 members of the department’s workforce who “interact with, or have the potential to come into contact with, patients.”
The measure primarily concerns staff at federally operated healthcare and clinical research facilities, the statement outlined, including “employees, contractors, trainees, and volunteers whose duties put them in contact or potential contact with patients at an HHS medical or clinical research facility.”
Becerra defended the move, saying that “vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from Covid-19” and citing the threat posed by the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has fuelled a rise in cases in some states.
Instructing our HHS healthcare workforce to get vaccinated will protect our federal workers and the patients and people they serve.
The statement did not provide a specific deadline by which these federal workers must be vaccinated or specify what the consequences might be for those who refuse to be inoculated against Covid.
The announcement from HHS follows similar decisions by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which announced vaccine mandates in the past few weeks.Also on rt.com Pentagon chief says Covid-19 vaccines will be MANDATORY for US military by September 15 – or sooner if they get FDA approval
On August 9, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that all members of the American military must be inoculated by mid-September or when Covid vaccines secure full regulatory approval, whichever happens sooner.
Similarly, President Joe Biden stated at the end of July that all federal workers will have to either be fully vaccinated or face regular testing for Covid, and all individuals within federal buildings will have to wear masks.
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