To increase vaccination coverage and protect more people from COVID-19, including the more transmissible Delta variant, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will require more than 25,000 members of its health care 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 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. 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 Dr. Vivek Murthy 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 would implement this new COVID-19 vaccination requirement using the same processes that are already in place for these other vaccines.