WASHINGTON - The White House has yet to determine whether vaccinations will be mandated for Federal and military employees, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.
After a lull created by vaccinations campaigns, COVID-19 cases are soaring nationwide among the unvaccinated – a trend amplified by the proliferation of the so-called delta variant.
Many hospitals and other institutions are requiring employees to receive vaccinations.
On Monday, the Veterans Affairs Secretary, Denis McDonough, mandated that all VA employees obtain vaccinations, a first among federal agencies.
"It hasn’t been determined that it would be illegal, but we have not made a determination about that, no," Psaki said.
She noted, however, that the federal government is examining all avenues to help stifle the lingering COVID-19 virus.
"It would certainly prudent for the federal government to be looking at any steps – just like any employer is, to your point – of how we can incentivize people to getting vaccinated, protect more people, save more lives. I just don’t have anything to preview for you at this time," she said.
The VA’s mandate includes physicians, dentists, nurses and others who work in patient-facing roles.
"We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep veterans safe, especially as the delta variant spreads across the country," McDonough told Fox News on Monday.
The announcement comes after the VA lost four employees to COVID-19 in recent weeks. All four were unvaccinated. The agency said at least three of the employees died due to the delta variant of the novel coronavirus.