The Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday released agency-specific data on compliance with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for the federal government’s 3.5 million employees, showing the Transportation Department on top and the Agriculture Department lagging.
The White House announcement touts that 92 percent of federal employees received at least one Covid-19 vaccination dose by the Nov. 22 deadline to get the shot, adding that the deadline “wasn’t an end point.”
However, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force created by Biden said that federal workers were supposed to be fully vaccinated — meaning two weeks after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson — by Nov. 22. Federal workers do not have the option to submit to testing in lieu of getting the vaccine, unless they have a protected religious or disability exemption.
OMB said it considers any federal worker who is in the process of getting vaccinated or requesting an exemption as “in compliance” with the mandate.
Best compliance: As of Nov. 23, the Transportation Department (99.6 percent), Commerce Department (99.4 percent), Small Business Administration (99.1 percent) and Agency for International Development (99.1 percent) had the highest compliance rates with the vaccine requirement.
The Agency for International Development (97.8 percent), Department of Health and Human Services (96.4 percent) and the National Science Foundation (96.2 percent) have the highest rates of employees with at least one shot of the vaccine.
Worst compliance: The Interior Department (94.7 percent), Social Security Administration (95 percent) and the Department of Homeland Security, which includes both civilian and Coast Guard active duty personnel (95.1 percent), reported the lowest rates of compliance with the mandate as of Nov. 23.
Agencies with the lowest vaccination rates — meaning employees with at least one shot — include the Agriculture Department (86.1 percent), Social Security Administration (87.7 percent) and Veterans Affairs (87.8 percent).
What’s next: Data on how many federal workers are fully vaccinated or two weeks out from completing a full vaccine series will not be available until a later date, a senior administration official said this week.