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President mandates vaccinations for federal employees

Posted at 11:35 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 10:29:38-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Up until now, Jermaine Tate has been hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Today he’s getting his first dose.

“When it first hits, you kind of want to see how it goes,” Tate said.

“Information coming out, you know, you heard the good, the bad, you just heard all this stuff. I kind of wanted to give it that trial period for me.”

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Tate works in IT for the Department of Defense. He says he became more comfortable with the idea of getting the vaccine as more of his co-workers got the shot. However, soon, federal employees won’t have a choice.

On Thursday, President Biden signed an executive order stating that all government employees and government contractors must be vaccinated against COVID-19, with no option of being regularly tested to opt-out. The White House says federal employees will have about two and a half months to get fully vaccinated.

“If you want to work with the federal government or do business with us, get vaccinated,” Biden said.

The president says the most recent surge in the virus is because of the 80 million Americans who have refused to get vaccinated.

Nevada recently surpassed more than 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. As of Sept. 9, the Silver State is dealing with a test positivity rate of 12.2%.

Aside from the new order, Tate says he also wanted to get the vaccine to protect his loved ones.

“What really motivated me through this, it was more about the people around me that I know who have asthma, who’ve had heart attacks and things like that, so I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going be the cause of a spike to them.”

While there are religious or disability exemptions from getting the vaccine, the White House says the expectation is that all employees are fully vaccinated.