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Biden push to vaccinate feds forces uncomfortable questions

President Joe Biden's demand that federal workers reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status will likely cause uncomfortable questions at both government agencies and private companies.

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Biden push to vaccinate feds forces uncomfortable questions

There aren't any clear answers right now.

It will take time to get the policy right and it will vary between government agencies. Private companies will also need to be aware of the policy, although the White House attempts to help. There isn't a guide. In the face of a virus evolving in real-time to pose a greater threat, nothing has been attempted on a scale this large before.

Andrew Challenger, senior vice-president at workforce consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, stated that the miracle vaccine was developed in a short time. "Now, we have reached a point in which it is clear that the individual motivation people have to protect themselves is not strong enough to protect this country. We are now seeing the government take the first step.

Biden's plan to the federal workforce was announced Thursday but did not include a direct order for feds.

Workers will be required to prove that they have been vaccinated. While employees won't be required to present a vaccination card, the word "attest" will be used in federal workplace regulations. False or misleading information can result in severe consequences. It is not clear how this will be implemented, but employees who provide valid proof of vaccination will likely resolve any questions immediately.

Non-vaccinated individuals will have to endure regular testing, required masking, and social distancing. They will also be prohibited from traveling on official business. Federal contractors will also be subject to similar rules.

Other issues can be raised by continuous testing. Most people have health insurance that pays. However, what happens if someone refuses vaccinations or isn't eligible for religious or medical exemptions?

The subject of masking is a controversial one. How will agencies enforce a concealing policy if everyone is not required to be vaccinated. Supervisors will be armed with lists of unvaccinated people to patrol cubicles.

It is possible that translating Biden's order into the workplace might not go according to plan. Each government agency has its own culture and missions. The National Institutes of Health doctors are likely already fully vaccinated. However, some law enforcement agents might be wary of receiving shots that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The American Federation of Government Employees is the largest union representing federal workers. It has already given notice that it expects that any changes in working conditions will be "properly negociated with our bargaining unit prior to implementation."

The Pentagon has been instructed to examine when and how COVID-19 vaccines are required for military personnel. Dependent on their location, service members may be required to receive up to 17 vaccines.

Biden presented his federal plan while some companies, such as Google, were already ahead of the curve, stating that they would simply need vaccination. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the country and backed Biden's actions. It called them "prudent steps for public health and economic recovery."

Jeff Hyman, a business author, and expert in recruitment, stated that the most important questions for public and private employees revolve around proofing their vaccination status and qualifying to receive exceptions.

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