Veterans Affairs Becomes First Federal Agency to Require COVID Vaccines for Employees

The 115,000 frontline health care workers employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs are now required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

With this move, the department becomes the first federal agency to enforce such a mandate. Employees have the next two months to receive their vaccination, government officials told The New York Times.

COVID-19 Vaccine
The move by Veteran Affairs comes as the Delta variant continues to spread across the United States, comprising more than 80 percent of new cases in the U.S. Here, a medical professional draws a dose of a vaccine. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

The move comes as the Delta variant continues to spread across the United States, comprising more than 80 percent of new cases in the U.S., the CDC reported last week. Right now, roughly half of the U.S. population is completely vaccinated.

In an interview with The New York Times, Denis McDonough, the secretary of veterans affairs, said the new mandate will include doctors, dentists, registered nurses, physician assistants and some specialists. He added that the mandate is being launched with the intention to keep the nation's veterans safe.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.