HHS mandates vaccines for its healthcare workforce

Aug. 13, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require more than 25,000 members of its healthcare workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Staff at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) who serve in federally operated healthcare and clinical research facilities and interact with, or have the potential to come into contact with, patients will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, HHS said.

HHS said this includes employees, contractors, trainees, and volunteers whose duties put them in contact or potential contact with patients at an HHS medical or clinical research facility.

Additionally, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, will immediately require members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of medical readiness procedures to prepare for any potential deployment need as emergency responders.

IHS, NIH and the Commissioned Corps already require such personnel to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine and other routine vaccinations, with processes for medical and religious exemptions, and all agencies will implement this new COVID-19 vaccination requirement using the same processes that are already in place for these other vaccines.

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