The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that it will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for some of its workforce.
The jab requirement applies to more than 25,000 employees, including staff at the Indian Health Services and National Institutes of Health who work in federally operated health and clinical research facilities or could potentially come into contact with patients.
Members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will also have to get vaccinated in preparation for potential frontline work as emergency responders.
“Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce, and the vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from Covid-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant and save lives,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.
A similar mandate was announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs in late July, and the Defense Department released a memo detailing plans for its own roll out among service members in the coming weeks.