The Department of Health and Human Sciences announced Thursday that it is making vaccination mandatory for its 25,000 employees as Covid cases rise with searing pace in the US.
The secretary of HHS, Xavier Becerra announced that the mandate will be applicable across all the sub-departments of the agency namely, Indian Health Services, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. All the employees who interact with patients are also going to fall under the umbrella.
HHS said in a statement, “Staff at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) who serve in federally-operated health care and clinical research facilities and interact with, or have the potential to come into contact with, patients will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine”
Becerra said, “Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce. And vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from COVID-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and save lives.”
He added that the mandate will only protect the workers and the people they interact with, ” Instructing our HHS health care workforce to get vaccinated will protect our federal workers and the patients and people they serve.”
The latest vaccine-push, encouraged by President Biden, started after the Delta variant of Covid started to gain momentum and researches proved that more than 95% of the affected are unvaccinated people. Major companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and most of the major retail chains are encouraging vaccination among the employees with the help of incentives.
Last month, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first government entity to make vaccination a must for the workers. Earlier this week, NSA issued a similar memo asking all of its employees to get inoculated by September. The ministry of Defense also followed suit. Apart from the government agencies, major companies have already made vaccination mandatory among their workforces. To add to the drive, President Biden has planned to meet heads of companies and institutions.
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