Friday, October 15, 2021

TSA: 40 Percent of Workforce Unvaccinated Ahead of November Deadline; Another Lawsuit in the Making?

Source: The Hill

Published: October 14, 2021

By: Joseph Choi

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official said in an interview published on Wednesday that 40 percent of the TSA's workforce remains unvaccinated ahead of a Nov. 22 deadline set by the Biden administration.

Speaking to CNN, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he was "very hopeful" that his agency's employees would meet the deadline, but said that "contingency plans" were in development in case some employees are unable to work who are not vaccinated in time.

"We have about 60 percent of our workforce has been vaccinated, that number needs to go quite a bit higher over the next few weeks," Pekoske told CNN. "We are building contingency plans for if we do have some staffing shortages as a result of this, but I hope to avoid that."

CNN reported that Pekoske has been holding town hall meetings in an effort to encourage more employees to get vaccinated.

With the deadline six weeks away, employees have already missed the point at which they can get vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. The two-shot regimen is administered four weeks apart and an additional two weeks are needed after the shots for a patient to be considered fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is administered three weeks apart, leaving workers a bit of leeway, unless they decide to instead get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. CNN noted the latest possible date that federal employees can get the Pfizer vaccine is Oct. 18.

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