by Kaylee Greenlee
Around 30% of Department of Homeland Security employees won’t be fully vaccinated before the federal deadline, My RGV reported on Tuesday.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees needed to receive their second COVID-19 vaccination shot or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Monday, two weeks before President Joe Biden’s executive order goes into effect, to be considered fully vaccinated, according to My RGV.
“More than 70% of our employees have already provided their vaccination status in the VSS [Vaccination Status System] or their Components system of record,” the DHS deputy under secretary for management, Randolph Alles, wrote in an email addressed to all employees on Nov. 8, My RGV reported.
Federal employees can file for religious or medical exemptions from receiving the vaccine, according to My RGV. However, 30% of DHS employees had not filed for exceptions or received a vaccination as of Nov. 8.
“I understand that some of you may be on the fence or even against getting the vaccine,” Alles wrote, My RGV reported. “DHS and the American people value you and the work you do, which is done often at great personal sacrifice.”
“However, we all must do our part to move past this pandemic and the first step is everyone getting vaccinated,” Alles continued, according to My RGV. “Employees who do not comply with the requirement to become vaccinated will be subject to formal discipline, up to and including removal from federal service.”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, who are employed by DHS, will likely face three levels of disciplinary actions if they aren’t vaccinated by the deadline, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported Oct. 1. Agents have criticized their union for not fighting against the mandate since many are concerned about having a reaction to the vaccine.
“Federal agencies, including CBP, are laser-focused on vaccinating their workforce ahead of the November 22nd deadline for Federal employees,” a CBP spokesperson told the DCNF. “Like other Federal agencies, we are continuing to collect vaccination information from employees as we approach the deadline.”
CBP would not say what will happen to agents who fail to get vaccinated by Nov. 22.
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Kaylee Greenlee is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.