WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden plans to require all federal employees and government contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.
In July, Biden said federal workers had to get vaccinated or face regular COVID-19 testing and such other safety rules as mandatory face masks at workplaces and restrictions on official travel.
Biden will sign an executive order on Thursday that will cover millions of federal workers and contractors that do business with the federal government, the source said.
As part of the vaccination push, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the National Institute of Health “will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people,” the source said.
In a speech later on Thursday, Biden will focus on new plans to get more people vaccinated, enhancing protection for those who already have had shots and keeping schools open, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Just over 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated, including almost two-thirds of the adult population, according to CDC data. The disease has killed more than 651,000 Americans. https://tmsnrt.rs/3A1KHg3
(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and Howard Goller)