US HHS mandates COVID-19 shots for the health care workforce

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Amidst the ongoing scare of subsequent waves of COVID-19 worldwide, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has mandated its healthcare workforce to get COVID-19 vaccination shots. Health Secretary, Xavier Becerra has as well stated that the US government's top priority is the health and safety of all US citizens, including the government's workforce.

According to an HHS statement, staff at the Indian Health Service (IHS), which concentrates on American Indians, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be impacted by this decision. Moreover, the new rule will be consistent with the agency's current exemptions for religious and medical grounds for mandatory influenza and other illness vaccines.

Alongside, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps members are also expected to be vaccinated against the virus in the event they are summoned into active duty as emergency personnel.

It would be essential to note that over 25,000 workers, trainees, contractors, and volunteers whose activities bring them potentially in contact with covid patients at an HHS medical or clinical research institution, are affected.

Apparently, this move makes HHS the most recent government agency to mandate COVID-19 vaccination.

The decision came only days after the Pentagon mandated that all military members be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the middle of September. Last month, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first large government agency to impose a COVID-19 vaccination mandate on healthcare workers.

President Biden supported the Pentagon’s decision by stating that he strongly supports the Department of Defense's proposal to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of mandatory vaccines for our military members by mid-September.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is also investigating whether corporations can compel immunizations while it explores what else may be done to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Following a meeting with Biden on Wednesday, United Airlines Inc (UAL.O) Chief Executive Scott Kirby believes that more US firms and organizations would begin mandating COVID-19 vaccines.

Source Credit: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-health-secretary-mandates-covid-19-shots-health-care-staff-2021-08-12/