By Ann Saphir
(Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington and the regional Fed banks will now require all of their nearly 23,000 employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a Wednesday memo, the Philadelphia Fed advised its staff about the mandate. This makes it one of only 12 Fed Banks to require vaccination as a condition of employment.
According to a spokeswoman for the Fed Board, Washington also requires that all employees be fully vaccinated before Nov. 30.
Last month, the regional Fed banks in New York, Boston and St. Louis informed their employees that they will be subject to a mandate for vaccines. In July, the Minneapolis Fed became the first Fed to require such vaccinations.
Banks must comply with the deadlines by Oct. 1, and the Philadelphia Fed can do so until Nov. 30.
Nearly 20,000 people are employed by the twelve banks. About 2,900 people are employed by the Fed Board.
The requirement is necessary to protect workforce health and “ensure we’re able to serve the needs of our constituents and do our part to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the formation of new variants within the communities we serve,” a Dallas Fed spokesman told Reuters.
President Joe Biden announced https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-deliver-six-step-plan-covid-19-pandemic-2021-09-09 last week he would require all U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their staff are vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test each week. According to Goldman Sachs (NYSE :), economists, the rule will likely impact approximately 25 million workers who are not vaccinated and provide a slight boost in economic growth.
Biden’s mandate was a factor in the Philadelphia Fed’s decision.
Biden on Wednesday met with executives from Walt Disney (NYSE:) Co, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) and other business leaders as part of the push to protect Americans from the spread of the coronavirus, which has filled hospital beds in some parts of the country and is slowing the growth of jobs nationally.
Biden’s administration also announced that most federal employees would be subject to a mandate for vaccines by November 22.
Some Republican governors, such as those from the Atlanta, Kansas City, Dallas Fed districts, are opposed to vaccine mandates and have made it clear that they will fight them.
According to opinion polls, the majority of Americans favor some type of mandate. According to Reuters, about one-fifth of U.S. businesses had a vaccination mandate as of September 1, a poll showed.
According to the U.S. central banking, vaccination is essential for economic recovery. This includes linking labor market recovery with COVID-19 vaccine use. About 63% are fully vaccinated in the United States. Some Fed officials found the decision difficult, even though it was a complicated one.
“This wasn’t an easy decision for us, but vaccines offer strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death, and we see them as the best way for us to address the pandemic’s challenges with everyone’s safety and well-being in mind,” said André Anderson, first vice president of the Atlanta Fed, which told employees on Aug. 26 they would have until Nov. 15 to get their shots.
There will be exceptions for religious and health reasons.
New York Fed spokesperson highlighted bank efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy. The bank also offers vaccinations at-site. “Requiring a vaccine for all current and future New York Fed employees is essential as we contemplate a return to the office,” the spokesperson said.