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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that requiring the federal workforce to get vaccinated against the coronavirus is "under consideration."

Why it matters: Biden's statements followed a change in policy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country.

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require its workers to receive the vaccine. The White House was reportedly aware of this decision.

What they're saying: “That’s under consideration right now,” Biden said, responding to a question about making vaccines mandatory for the federal workforce. “But if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” he added.

Go deeper

Nov 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden hits the gas

President Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccine for children on Wednesday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's hitting the gas — not pumping the brakes — to pass his two massive spending bills ASAP, and doesn’t read his party’s poor electoral showing in Virginia as a rebuke of the massive costs, lawmakers and White House advisers tell Axios.

Why it matters: What Biden’s critics see as a stubborn streak his allies call resolve. The president's confidants love to point out that during the 2020 primaries, the press corps doubted his strategy and ability to capture the Democratic nomination.

Biden's blunt talk

President Biden speaks during his news conference Tuesday in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

This White House's buttoned-up communications operation still has one big leak: President Biden.

Driving the news: On Tuesday, on the world stage in Glasgow, Scotland, he bluntly chastised Russia and China for skipping the COP26 climate change conference. It wasn't an isolated instance.

Arkansas is ready to vaccinate kids

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Arkansas is well prepared to start vaccinating kids ages 5–11 as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the OK, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said yesterday during a news conference. And last night, the CDC gave the green light.

Flashback: The Federal Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine for the age group last week.

Where to get the shots: The Arkansas Department of Health's local county health units have them. In NWA, those clinics are in Fayetteville, Rogers and Siloam Springs.

  • See hours and contact info here to make an appointment.

Generally, clinics that give typical vaccines to children — like flu shots and smallpox vaccines — will also give COVID-19 vaccines, Hutchinson said. You should contact your child’s doctor to check.

  • After the initial rollout, pharmacies and more clinics will start giving vaccines to children.

Threat level: The Delta variant caused an increase in cases and hospitalizations among kids. Getting children vaccinated ahead of the holidays will help protect them and family members they gather with, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

What they're saying:

The vaccine for this age group, 5–11, has been shown to be safe and efficacious … They were a big part of the brunt of the number of cases that we saw in this summer surge due to Delta. We need to protect them. This is a way to do so."
— Arkansas health secretary, José Romero, during Hutchinson's news conference

By the numbers: The state has roughly 271,000 kids ages 5–11, Romero said.

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