Kansas City federal workers say there’s strong compliance with vaccine mandate

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Monday is the deadline for millions of federal workers to provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Federal workers in Kansas City said the vast majority here are fully vaccinated.

Nationwide, a U.S. official said over 90% of federal workers received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday’s deadline.

President Joe Biden issued an executive order in September requiring federal workers to get vaccinated to keep their jobs. There’s no option to get regularly tested instead, unless they secured an approved medical or religious exemption. 

In the private sector, there’s been a rush of last minute filings, as some workers get their paperwork in at the last possible moment to meet corporate vaccination deadlines.

All civilian federal workers and those who contract with the federal government must provide proof of vaccination.

In the Kansas City area, the American Federation of Government Employees said compliance with the mandate is strong, and those who have concerns have had plenty of time to file paperwork seeking exemptions.

“As you’ve seen with police unions and firefighters and such, there’s a lot of talk before the mandate comes down, and then at the end, most people relent and get the shot and move on,” said Ben King, a Social Security Administration employee and representative of AFGE Local 1336. 

“It’s the same with the federal workforce. I have not heard from any friends in other departments or agencies that have mass levels of folks who have refused to get the vaccine.”

Social Security workers continue to provide services remotely although King said he’s expecting to return to his office in the coming months.

King said this isn’t the first time an executive order has impacted the way government employees do their jobs.

A similar vaccination requirement is being implemented for those in the military and health care workers, including those who care for the elderly in nursing homes.

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