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80% Of Border Patrol Workers Are Reportedly Vaccinated Against Covid As Deadline For Federal Workers Approaches

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at November 13, 2021

Topline

Eight in 10 U.S. Border Patrol agents and employees were fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated against Covid-19 as of Wednesday, the Washington Post reported Saturday, as the deadline for federal workers to be inoculated approaches.

Key Facts

The Border Patrol has around 21,000 workers, of which 77% were fully vaccinated and 3% had received a partial dose as of November 10, the Washington Post reported, citing internal data it obtained.

About 1% of agents and employees said they were unvaccinated and didn’t request an exemption.

Federal workers and contractors must be fully vaccinated by November 22—meaning they have to have received the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer’s vaccines, or a single dose of the J&J vaccine, 14 days before the deadline. 

Some 15.5% of the agency’s workforce has applied for an exemption due to religious or medical reasons, the Post reported.

The agency didn’t immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.

Chief Critic

The National Border Patrol Council, the agency’s labor union, has resisted the vaccine mandate, which the Biden Administration unveiled in September. The union has backed a letter that Republican lawmakers sent to President Joe Biden earlier this month to scrap it for Border Patrol agents. In September, the union said it had instructed its lawyers to develop a plan to “attack” the executive order, but concluded the order was “legal and that there was no viable avenue of challenge.”

Key Background

Earlier this week, the American Federation of Government Employees, a union representing hundreds of thousands of federal workers including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, sent a letter to the Biden Administration asking to postpone the vaccination deadline to January 4. This came as the deadline for federal contractors has been pushed back from November 22 to January 4. Everett Kelly, president of the union, said in a statement, “confusion and distress among federal employees due to disparate treatment and incongruent deadlines for people who perform the government’s work in the same settings.”

Further Reading

Border Patrol vaccination rates increase, but 20 percent of agency’s workforce has not gotten shots (Washington Post)

Federal Employee Union Wants Biden To Delay His Vaccine Mandate (Forbes)

Border Patrol Agents Push Back Against Covid-19 Vaccination Mandate (Forbes)

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