About 96 percent of the Federal government’s 3.5 million employees have complied with President Biden’s vaccine mandate, which means workers have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, or have a pending or approved exception request.

Under an executive order issued by the President on Sept. 9, Federal employees had until Nov. 22 to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, except for limited circumstances where an employee has an approved or pending exception or extension.

“As the successful implementation of this requirement across the Federal government has shown, these requirements work: they increase vaccination rates – leading to a safer, more productive, and efficient workforce. They’re good for workers, good for businesses, and good for the country,” the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a press release.

However, OMB emphasized that this week’s deadline was not an endpoint in the process. For employees who are not yet in compliance with the requirement, Federal agencies are now beginning to provide additional education and counseling on the issue, followed by additional enforcement steps consistent with Safer Federal Workforce Task Force and OMB guidance.

In the coming days, OMB expects employees to continue providing vaccination information and documentation and request exceptions, and agencies will continue to process and review that information and documentation and those requests. Additionally, new hires will, similarly, submit vaccination information and documentation or exception requests for agencies to process.

OMB said today that several Federal agencies had compliance rates exceeding 99 percent, including the Agency for International Development, the departments of Commerce and Transportation, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management. A full list of agency figures is available at OMB.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.