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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced that it will require more than 25,000 members of its health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: It's the latest federal agency to implement a vaccine mandate, joining the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon.

Driving the news: "Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce, and vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from COVID-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and save lives," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

  • Health care and research staff who work at the Indian Health Service (IHS) or National Institutes of Health (NIH) and potentially interact with patients will be required to receive the vaccine.
  • Members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will also be required to receive the COVID vaccine.

The big picture: The IHS, NIH and the Commissioned Corps already require health care workers to receive the seasonal flu vaccine and other vaccinations, with a process for medical and religious exemptions. The same processes will be applied for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

  • "As President Biden has said, we are looking at every way we can to increase vaccinations to keep more people safe, and requiring our HHS health care workforce to get vaccinated will protect our federal workers, as well as the patients and people they serve," Becerra said.

Go deeper: Pentagon will require all troops to get COVID vaccine by Sept. 15

Go deeper

Rachel Levine sworn in as first openly transgender 4-star officer

Rachel Levine testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Feb. 25. Photo: Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

Rachel Levine was sworn in on Tuesday as the admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, making her the nation's first openly transgender four-star officer, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The big picture: Levine, the assistant secretary for health, made history in March when she became the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

GE to mandate COVID vaccinations for U.S. workers

Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

General Electric will require all of its workers in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing President Biden's executive order for federal contractors, the company confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: General Electric is the latest in a slew of major companies to mandate the vaccine for workers, following in the footsteps of American Airlines, Tyson Foods and Microsoft, among others.

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year

J&J's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson registered $502 million of global revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date vaccine sales to $766 million.

The big picture: J&J, which is selling the vaccine at a not-for-profit price of $7.50 per dose, still expects to generate $2.5 billion of COVID vaccine sales this year, executives said Tuesday. But that total will still dwarf the use and sales of the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

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