93% of TSA employees are vaccinated before Thanksgiving weekend


IIf you run into long lines at the airport over Thanksgiving weekend, don’t blame the federal vaccine mandate. The Transportation Security Administration reports that the vast majority of its employees are now fully vaccinated.

“Ninety-three percent of the TSA workforce has complied with the vaccination mandate,” TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston said in an email.

Yesterday, November 22, was the deadline by which all federal employees must either be vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo frequent coronavirus testing, in accordance with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.

“Since the President announced the vaccination requirement for federal employees in September, the TSA has continued to make significant progress in ensuring compliance across the agency – and implementing the requirement will not result in no disruption to essential services upon which the American people depend, ”Langston said. “The mandate will have no impact on vacation travel.”

This latest report sheds light on a mystery lasting several weeks. The TSA had not offered an update on the agency’s compliance since October 13. At that time, TSA administrator David Pekoske told CNN that “about 60% of our workforce has been vaccinated, which number is expected to increase a bit more over the next few weeks.”

Since then, and until yesterday, the TSA did not say how much the compliance needle had moved, only that the agency would be ready for the volume of vacations and that the employee vaccination mandate would not have to go. impact on travel this weekend.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. The AAA expects 4.2 million Americans to fly over Thanksgiving, down 11% from pre-pandemic levels, but nearly double the volume of air passengers from last year .

Currently there are 275 TSA employees with active COVID-19 infections, according to the agency’s website. Since the start of the pandemic, the TSA has accumulated 11,199 federal employees who have tested positive for Covid-19. In addition, 33 TSA employees and two testing contractors have died after contracting the virus.

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