DOE: Feds must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22

The Joe L. Evins Federal Building is pictured above in Oak Ridge on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

The executive order issued by President Joe Biden in September requires federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, the U.S. Department of Energy said. DOE said 84 percent of the department’s federal workforce was, at the time, fully vaccinated.

To comply with the November 22 deadline, DOE’s employees must complete their vaccinations by November 8. This would apply to the first Johnson & Johnson shot, a one-shot vaccine, or the second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots, both two-shot vaccines. People aren’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the final dose of a vaccine.

The U.S. Department of Energy notified its staff of the vaccine requirement on Tuesday last week.

“Protecting your health and safety is our top priority,” DOE told its staff. “To help ensure this, President Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. This applies to all federal employees regardless of remote, telework, or onsite reporting status, except in limited circumstances in which an employee may be exempt due to a legally required accommodation.”

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About 43 percent vaccinated in Anderson County

The charts above show total COVID-19 vaccines in Anderson County and new vaccines by day; total vaccine recipients and new recipients by day; and the total number of fully vaccinated people and number of new fully vaccinated people by day. (Charts by Oak Ridge Today using Tennessee Department of Health data and Flourish for chart production).

After more than seven months, about 43 percent of people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Anderson County–lower than the national average–and the number of daily vaccinations remains far below the peak this spring, according to state data.

The largest increase in vaccinations in Anderson County was between about late February and mid-May. There were eight days with about 900 vaccinations or more during that time period and three days in April with more than 1,000 vaccinations, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. The peak was 1,256 vaccinations on April 10.

Now, though, vaccinations are in the range of about 100 per day, with all peaks below 200. At that rate, it could take months, maybe more than a year, to approach a vaccination rate of 70 percent or higher.

The number of new vaccine recipients can vary widely each day, but there does appear to be an increase in the number of new recipients as the new daily case rate rises again in Anderson County.

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