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A health care worker preparing a dose of coronavirus vaccine in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Nov. 17. Photo: Nick Oxford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

More than 90% of the 3.5 million federal workers received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Monday, the deadline set by President Biden in September, a senior administration official told Axios.

Why it matters: The official said the administration hopes that private businesses can use the federal government's worker vaccine mandate as an example to implement their own requirements for workers.

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a rule on Nov. 4 that would require large companies to mandate COVID vaccines for employees or impose weekly testing or face federal fines, but that mandate has been placed on hold after being challenged by multiple states in court.

What they're saying: "These numbers make one thing perfectly clear: vaccination requirements work," the administration official said in a statement.

  • "We have done this with the largest workforce in the United States, with more than 3.5 million covered employees across the country and around the world in diverse roles. And we have done this without disruptions to critical services people depend on," the official added.

The big picture: 95% of federal workers have received at least one vaccination dose or have a pending exemption or extension request.

  • Biden signed an executive order on Sept. 9 that required all federal workers to get vaccinated within 75 days. The order did not give workers the option to get regularly tested instead, though it did offer medical or religious exemptions.

What's next: The official said the Office of Management and Budget will release a chart Wednesday that will summarize agency compliance rates.

Go deeper: Health groups urge businesses to voluntarily implement Biden's vaccine rule

Go deeper

GOP courts anti-vaxxers with jobless aid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republican officials around the country are testing a creative mechanism to build loyalty with unvaccinated Americans while undermining Biden administration mandates: unemployment benefits.

Driving the news: Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have changed their unemployment insurance rules to allow workers who are fired or quit over vaccine mandates to receive benefits.

17 hours ago - Health

Pentagon denies Oklahoma National Guard request for exemption from vaccine mandate

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the federal government's vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: The Army National Guard must be fully vaccinated by the end of next June while the Air National Guard faces a Dec. 2 deadline. Those who fail to comply will be barred from drills and other duties, and won't be paid even when they're under state control.

21 hours ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pa. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An FDA advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the U.S.