Deadline arrives for country’s largest employer
When it comes to vaccine mandates, people might threaten to quit, but ultimately the vast majority end up getting inoculated. That lesson is being repeated in many organizations, but especially in the largest single employer in the U.S., the federal government. As Monday’s deadline for federal employees arrived, an official told the Associated Press that more than 90% of them had received at least one shot. Combined with those who have requested a religious or medical exemption, more than 95% of federal employees are in compliance with the policy President Biden announced in September.
Considering the federal government employs approximately 3.5 million people, that’s a meaningful sample attesting to the efficacy of mandates. Those federal employees not in compliance will enter a counseling program and could be fired if they don’t get vaccinated or secure an exemption. Unlike most mandate policies, which aren’t truly mandates because they offer an alternative, the one for government workers does not include the option of regular COVID testing in lieu of vaccination.
As holiday travel begins to ramp up, the FAA is at 99% compliance and the TSA is at 93%. Customs and Border Protection is at 98% compliance. Nearly a quarter of IRS employees have gotten vaccinated since Biden’s announcement, giving the agency a 98% compliance rate.
Around 40 million Americans ages 12 and over have gotten vaccinated since Biden’s announcement spurred a wave of vaccine mandates across public and private sectors. While it’s impossible to measure each individual’s reasoning and opportunity beforehand to get a vaccine, they were all eligible before the announcement, making it likely the mandates have had a big effect on increasing vaccination rates and helped in the push to contain COVID.
While there were fears people would leave their jobs in large numbers rather than get vaccinated, statistics have not borne that out. Rather, they strongly indicate that vaccine mandates work.