On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that its frontline employees must be vaccinated, becoming the first federal agency to set such a requirement.
Starting Wednesday, July 28, VA employees will have eight weeks to get vaccinated or face penalties including possible termination. This decision tests the waters at a time when the Biden Administration has stated that it are leaving vaccination requirements up to private industries and employers.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has more than 370,000 employees. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough said the mandate would apply to roughly 115,000 employees who are “the most patient-facing.”
Arkansas’ three VA medical centers in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Fayetteville will be impacted as a result of this requirement, as will the state’s 18 community-based outpatient clinics and veteran treatment centers.