The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Thursday it will require more than 25,000 of its health care workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
HHS employs more than 80,000 people, and those not covered by the mandate still must attest to their vaccination status or submit to regular testing.
“Staff at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) who serve in federally-operated health care 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 announced in a press release. “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.”
Members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps also will be required to get the vaccine.
Some with religious objections and certain medical exceptions could be exempt from the mandate.
The announcement comes as the Veterans Affairs Department recently mandated vaccines for its health care providers. The Defense Department also is planning to require vaccines for service members.