VA becomes first government agency to mandate COVID vaccines

It was only a matter of time before a government agency made the decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Breitbart, President Joe Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced this week that all Title 38 employees — which includes mostly doctors, nurses, and other specialized positions — will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, ostensibly in order to keep their jobs.

In the name of safety

McDonough issued a statement in the wake of the bombshell announcement, professing that the mandatory vaccination requirement was an effort to keep U.S. military veterans who use the VA system safe from the virus.

“I am doing this because it’s the best way to keep our veterans safe, full stop,” the VA secretary said, according to The New York Times.

The vaccine mandate, at this time, only applies to Title 38 employees, comprised of doctors, nurses, and other employees who are the most “patient-facing” employees in the VA healthcare system. While the VA employees over 360,000 workers, roughly 115,000 will be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already received it.

As is the case in other hospitals and industries that have issued similar mandates, employees will reportedly have the ability to appeal the mandate and refuse the vaccine on the grounds of religious beliefs or medical conditions.

The recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide, thanks mostly to the highly contagious Delta variant, apparently triggered the mandate.

Take the shot, or else

McDonough indicated that employees who refuse to comply with the agency’s vaccine mandate lose risking their jobs. As of Wednesday, the employees in question will have exactly two months to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Interestingly, the Times reported that some 70% of workers in the VA healthcare system have already been vaccinated. But apparently, that number isn’t high enough for McDonough. “Our clinicians are arguing that we do need a higher number than that,” the VA secretary said.

Anyone working in healthcare who hasn’t yet received a vaccine is more than likely not interested in taking the shot, which will undoubtedly lead to thousands of appeals for exemptions and probably eventually a loss of employment for those who are against taking the vaccine, setting the stage for a new round of headaches for the struggling VA system.

A growing number of Democrats have also begun pushing the idea of more vaccine mandates in recent weeks. It’s not a stretch to presume that additional government agencies could enact similar mandates soon, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to spike.

While most Americans were understandably under the impression that this pandemic was winding down, if not over, unfortunately, it appears as if this fall will be as bad — if not worse — than last year.

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