Congressional Staffers Now Eligible to Receive Coronavirus Vaccine

December 29, 2020 by Dan McCue
A person walks a dog with the Capitol in the background Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — Two staffers in the office of every House and Senate member on Capitol Hill are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, the Office of the Attending Physician announced Monday night.

In addition, attending physician Brian Monahan said the vaccine will be made available to four staffers of every committee chair and every ranking committee member.

In a memo sent to all congressional offices, Monahan stressed that this first wave of staff vaccines is intended for ” those whose jobs are considered essential for continuity of operations of the government.

In addition to staff, the memo said vaccines will also be available for some “critical” employees of the House; people whose jobs require a physical presence on the Hill or are likely to involve in-person interactions.

“Employees who occupy positions determined to make them eligible for the vaccine under these standards will be and/or have been notified of their status separately and provided with logistical information regarding the process for scheduling an appointment for the vaccination,” Monahan wrote.

“We will continue to keep the House community informed of further supply of COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available on a wider scale,” he added.

Congress received a limited batch of vaccines for lawmakers in mid-December that Monahan at the time indicated would be parceled to a small number of staffers if supplies permitted.

Monday’s memo suggested that enough vaccine remains from the early batch to provide the two-shot regimen to about 1,000 Hill staffers.

Members of Congress began receiving the first of two coronavirus vaccine shots earlier this month, part of a batch of vaccine distributed pursuant to national security directives to ensure the “continuity of government.”

Officials serving in the executive branch and the Supreme Court, as well as other top government leaders including Vice President Pence and President-elect Joe Biden, are also getting doses.

Monahan’s memo said that regardless of vaccine eligibility, all staff should continue exercising basic precautions like mask wearing, physical distancing and teleworking whenever possible.

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