By Betsy Klein, CNN
Updated: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 16:34:33 GMT
The Biden administration's Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday released a detailed breakdown of agency compliance with the federal government Covid-19 vaccine mandate, which went into effect via executive order earlier this week, linking high levels of compliance as proof mandates work to boost vaccinations.
Data provided by the OMB broke down the percentage of employees in compliance, meaning those employees who have had at least one dose of a vaccine or have submitted or received an exemption request, and the percentage of employees who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
There are some differences between those two numbers for each agency, per data shared by the OMB.
The Department of Transportation, for example, has the highest level of compliance with the mandate at 99.6%, though just 90.6% of its workforce has had at least one vaccine shot.
The agency with the highest level of vaccination is the US Agency for International Development, with 97.8% of its workforce having at least one shot. 96.4% of Department of Health and Human Services personnel have had at least one shot, and 96.2% of staff at the National Science Foundation.
The agency with the lowest level of vaccination is the US Department of Agriculture, where 86.1% of employees have had at least one Covid-19 shot. At the Social Security Administration, 87.7% of employees have had at least one shot, and 87.8% of employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs have had at least one dose.
A source familiar with the data told CNN Wednesday's figures exceeded expectations.
Among the 3.5 million federal employees covered by the requirement, the OMB said in a statement, "In the 75 days since the President announced the vaccination requirement, the Federal Government has achieved 96.5% compliance -- meaning employees who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccination or have a pending or approved exception request -- with 92.0% of employees having received at least one Covid-19 vaccination dose.
That implementation, the statement said, shows "these requirements work."
White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said that the requirement was implemented without any disruptions.
"The Federal government, the country's largest employer, has successfully implemented its requirement in a way that has boosted vaccinations and avoids any disruptions to operations," Munoz said. "We hope that our implementation sends the clear message to businesses to move forward with similar measures that will protect their workforce, protect their customers, and protect our communities."
Earlier this year, Biden imposed stringent new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and health care staff in an attempt to contain the latest surge of Covid-19, particularly after the emergency of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Biden also directed the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week. Eighty-four million workers would be covered by the rules, which are scheduled to fully take effect on January 4.
Immediately after being announced, the mandate came under challenge from Republican-led states and some private employers, who say the administration overstepped its authority in issuing such a rule.
A federal appeals court put the mandate on hold. It is now before the conservative-leaning Ohio-based 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which could soon decide its fate.
But many employers continue to implement vaccine mandates, regardless of whether the courts uphold or strike down Biden's requirements. Court decisions against mandates apply only to the government's rules, not to individual companies that have instituted their own vaccine requirements.