More Than 90% of TSA Workers Vaccinated Ahead of Federal Deadline (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
By Peter Malbin | Monday, 22 November 2021 01:55 PM
More than 90% of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers have been vaccinated ahead of Monday's deadline for federal employees. This will enable a holiday travel season free of firings and employee shortages at the agency during the busy Thanksgiving travel season.
Of the TSA's 60,000 employees, about 55,000, or nearly 93%, complied with President Joe Biden's September executive order mandating all federal workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 22 or face discipline, including termination, the Washington Examiner reported.
"There aren't going to be any disruptions to holiday travel from the vaccination requirement," Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa posted on Twitter on Monday.
The 93% vaccination rate among TSA workers is an increase from 60% as of Oct. 20.
At the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico, as well as airports where international travelers arrive, approximately 98% of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's 20,000 officers are vaccinated.
Republican leaders on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure had been concerned that the TSA would fire unvaccinated blocs of its workforce in the coming days.
"We are concerned that vaccine mandates combined with a pre-existing worker shortage and anticipated return of holiday air travel demands are compounding and creating a perfect storm," wrote Missouri Rep. Sam Graves, the top Republican on the committee, and Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves, the top Republican on the aviation subcommittee, in a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske earlier this month.
New COVID-19 cases are up nearly 54% in the last month nationwide, the local CBS station in New York reported. Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin are among the worst affected states.
"With a daily average of now 92,000 cases, we’ve got to be careful," Dr. Anthony Fauci said on "CBS Mornings." "That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holidays. We can be with our families if you’re vaccinated."
Fauci said it’s a good idea to get a COVID test before celebrating indoors.
"It isn’t a firm requirement, but I think if you want to go that extra step, particularly when you’re in a region where there’s a lot of infection," he said.
Wednesday afternoon and evening and the Sunday after Thanksgiving will be especially busy at airports.