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Biden to mandate Covid vaccine for federal workers, removing option to get tested instead

Nurses draw vaccine doses from a vial as Maryland residents receive their second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the Cameron Grove Community Center on March 25, 2021 in Bowie, Maryland.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday evening a new requirement for federal employees to receive the coronavirus vaccine, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The executive order will also extend to contractors that work with the U.S. government.

Earlier this year, Biden ordered all federal employees to prove their coronavirus vaccination status or submit to a series of rigorous safety protocols.

Thursday’s order removes the option for rigorous testing, a development that comes as the highly contagious delta variant spreads throughout the U.S.

In July, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would order its healthcare workers to get inoculated, making it the first federal agency to impose such a mandate.

Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough described the new measure as “the best way to keep Veterans safe.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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