Vaccine mandate for federal employees blocked again
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which is based in New Orleans, said last Monday that it would reconsider President Joe Biden's executive order requiring civilian federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and vacated an April 2022 ruling that reinstated the mandate.
President Biden’s executive order set a deadline of Nov. 22, 2021 for federal employees to be fully vaccinated, barring a religious or medical accommodation, or face discipline or firing. Most federal agencies have yet to process accommodation requests.
It is estimated that at least 350,000 federal employees remain in a category of less than fully vaccinated. Until the U.S. appeals court reconvenes and rules on the legality of the vaccinate mandate, the vaccine mandate cannot be enforced.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration signed a new agreement with Pfizer and partner BioNTech on June 29 for 105 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine for a fall vaccination campaign, in a deal valued at $3.2 billion. Under the new contract, the U.S. government has the option to buy an additional 195 million doses, bringing the total up to 300 million, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The fall vaccination campaign may include a requirement for all military personnel and civilian federal employees to not only be fully vaccinated but to be “up to date on shots,” also known as having the recommended number of booster shots.
Expect to see and hear more vaccine-related ads and questionable uses of television shows to condition children as fall and winter approaches.