The White House Office of Management and Budget is reportedly telling federal agencies they can hold off suspending or firing federal workers for not complying with a vaccine mandate until after the holidays.
ABC News, which reported Monday it had obtained the memo on the guidance, said the change hasn’t been publicly announced — and comes as President Joe Biden is putting pressure on private employers to embrace their own vaccine mandates.
According to the OMB, 92% of federal workers have already had at least one vaccine dose, ABC News reported.
The federal workforce's compliance rate stands at 96.5%, meaning employees have had at least one vaccine dose or have a pending or approved exception or extension request.
The news comes in the wake of fierce pushback from GOP-led states.
A coalition of 10 states sued the federal government Nov. 10 to try to block the requirement for healthcare workers — opening new front in resistance to the Biden administration’s COVID response.
The lawsuit filed in a federal court in Missouri contends that the vaccine requirement threatens the jobs of millions of healthcare workers and could "exacerbate an alarming shortage" in healthcare fields, particularly in rural areas where some health workers have been hesitant to get the shots.
The suit follows similar ones by Republican-led states challenging new Biden administration rules that will require federal contractors to ensure their workers are vaccinated and that businesses with more than 100 employees require their workers to get vaccinated or wear masks and get tested weekly for the coronavirus.
All of the mandates are scheduled to take effect Jan. 4.
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