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White House ending federal Covid-19 vaccine mandates this month

The announcement says requirements for federal employees and international travelers will expire on May 11.

WASHINGTON (CN) — The White House is ending Covid-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees and international air travelers this month.

Officials announced Monday that they will end the vaccine requirements for federal employees, contractors and international travelers when the Covid-19 public health emergency ends on May 11.

“Our Covid-19 vaccine requirements bolstered vaccination across the nation, and our broader vaccination campaign has saved millions of lives,” the White House said in a press release. “While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary.”

The departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services will also end their requirements for Head Start educators, health care facilities that take Medicare and Medicaid and some foreign nationals crossing the border. A federal court had vacated the HHS requirement last month.

Since the first Covid-19 case in the United States was reported on Jan. 20, 2020, more than 1.13 million people have died from the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The White House said nearly 270 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The Biden administration implemented vaccine requirements in 2021 and faced a slew of legal challenges. In a press release, the White House said the policy ensured the safety of workers, protected the public and that 98% of the federal workforce was compliant by January 2022.

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Categories / Government, Health, International, National, Travel

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