The White House Office of Management and Budget has released updated data on the compliance rates among federal employees and agencies with President Biden’s vaccine mandate.
According to OMB, 92.5% of all federal employees have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and the overall compliance rate for the federal workforce is now up to 97.2% as of December 8, 2021.
These numbers are up from the figures released by OMB on November 24 which showed a compliance rate for the federal workforce of 96.5% and 92% of federal employees having had at least one vaccine dose.
To be considered in “compliance,” federal employees have to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or have a pending or approved exception or extension request. The data do not offer any indication as to how many exceptions or extensions have been requested, denied, or approved.
In its latest blog post touting the improved vaccination rates, OMB largely attributes the higher levels of compliance among federal employees to “robust education and counseling efforts” to sway non-complaint federal workers.
“These efforts have already resulted in increased levels of vaccination and compliance,” wrote OMB.
Given the Federal Government’s tremendous progress, the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management have encouraged agencies to continue with robust education and counseling efforts as the first step in an enforcement process, with no subsequent enforcement actions, beyond that education and counseling and, if warranted, a letter of reprimand, for most employees who have not yet complied with the vaccination requirement until the new calendar year begins in January. Agencies may need to act on enforcement sooner for a limited number of employees, such as where there are additional or compounding performance or workplace safety issues under consideration, but in general, consistency across Government in further enforcement of the vaccine requirement after the start of the new calendar year is desired.
Harsher Penalties Delayed Until Next Year
OMB recently released a memo in which it asked federal agencies to delay more severe penalties for federal employees who violate the COVID vaccine mandate until after the first of the year.
The memo stated, in part, “We encourage your agencies to continue with robust education and counseling efforts through this holiday season as the first step in an enforcement process, with no subsequent enforcement actions, beyond that education and counseling and, if warranted, a letter of reprimand, for most employees who have not yet complied with the vaccination requirement until the new calendar year begins in January.”
Vaccine Mandate Suspended for Federal Contractors
News broke this week that a U.S. district court in Georgia has temporarily suspended the president’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors.
In its decision, the court said that President Biden has likely exceeded his authority under the Procurement Act in issuing the mandate.
In response to the decision, OMB has said the federal government has suspended enforcement of the vaccine mandate for federal contractors under Executive Order 14042 for existing contracts “that contain a clause implementing requirements” of the EO. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force said in a new post on its website:
For existing contracts or contract-like instruments (hereinafter “contracts”) that contain a clause implementing requirements of Executive Order 14042: The Government will take no action to enforce the clause implementing requirements of Executive Order 14042, absent further written notice from the agency, where the place of performance identified in the contract is in a U.S. state or outlying area subject to a court order prohibiting the application of requirements pursuant to the Executive Order (hereinafter, “Excluded State or Outlying Area”). In all other circumstances, the Government will enforce the clause, except for contractor employees who perform substantial work on or in connection with a covered contract in an Excluded State or Outlying Area, or in a covered contractor workplace located in an Excluded State or Outlying Area.
The “excluded state or outlying area” includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Agency-Wide Vaccination Compliance Rates
The latest data from OMB are included below.
|Agency||Agency-wide compliance percentage1||Agency-wide vaccination percentage2|
|Agency for International Development||99.3%||98.1%|
|Department of Agriculture||97.8%||88.1%|
|Department of Commerce3||99.5%||94.0%|
|Department of Defense4||96.5%||93.8%|
|Department of Education||99.9%||96.6%|
|Department of Energy||98.5%||91.0%|
|Department of Health and Human Services3||99.6%||97.1%|
|Department of Homeland Security5||96.2%||89.5%|
|Department of Housing and Urban Development||98.9%||93.5%|
|Department of the Interior||97.2%||90.2%|
|Department of Justice||98.8%||90.6%|
|Department of Labor||98.6%||93.9%|
|Department of State||98.3%||97.0%|
|Department of Transportation||99.7%||90.7%|
|Department of Treasury||98.9%||92.0%|
|Department of Veterans Affairs||98.7%||88.5%|
|Environmental Protection Agency3||95.6%||92.4%|
|General Services Administration||99.3%||93.4%|
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration||97.7%||92.2%|
|National Science Foundation||99.9%||97.7%|
|Nuclear Regulatory Commission||98.1%||92.7%|
|Office of Personnel Management||99.4%||91.4%|
|Small Business Administration||99.0%||90.2%|
|Social Security Administration||97.7%||90.3%|
- Percentage of agency employees covered by a vaccination requirement with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or a pending or approved exception or extension
- Percentage of agency employees covered by a vaccination requirement with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination
- Includes both civilian and Commissioned Corps personnel
- Includes both Department of Defense civilian and active duty personnel
- Includes both civilian and Coast Guard active duty personnel