Vaccine Requirement for International Travelers, Fed Workers Ending

May 1, 2023 by Dan McCue
Vaccine Requirement for International Travelers, Fed Workers Ending
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic signs. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The White House announced Monday evening that it is ending its COVID-19 vaccine requirements for international travelers, federal employees and contractors effective May 11.

Additionally, the departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security have begun the process of ending their vaccination requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified health care facilities and certain noncitizens at the land border. 

The Biden administration imposed its vaccination requirements in 2021 to “promote the health and safety of individuals and the efficiency of workplaces, protecting vital sectors of our economy and vulnerable populations” during the COVID pandemic.

Since then, the White House says, COVID-19 deaths have declined by 95% and hospitalizations are down nearly 91%. Globally, COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. 

“Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to COVID-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place,” the administration said in a press release.

“Our COVID-19 vaccine requirements bolstered vaccination across the nation, and our broader vaccination campaign has saved millions of lives,” the White House said. “While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary.” 

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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