The vast majority of federal workers are complying with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the White House said Monday.
A White House health official confirmed to several media outlets that nearly 90% of federal workers have received at least one shot of an approved coronavirus vaccine, and an additional 5% have submitted exemption applications that have already been approved or are pending.
President Joe Biden unveiled the mandate in September in an effort to increase vaccination rates across the country as the delta variant of the coronavirus surged. The requirement applies to employees of the executive branch, as well as government contractors, though the deadline for contractors was pushed back to January. The executive order included exceptions for any federal workers who have legitimate reasons to not get the vaccine, such as religious beliefs or medical conditions.
The order applies to roughly 3.5 million federal workers.
The compliance rate varies from agency to agency. At the Federal Aviation Administration, 99% of employees are in compliance with the mandate, a senior administration official told CBS News. Some 93% of employees at the Transportation Security Administration are vaccinated or received exemptions, while that number climbs to 98% among Customs and Border Protection workers, according to the official.
The White House plans to offer additional details on the vaccination efforts during a briefing Monday afternoon.