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Biden calls for vaccine mandate, what that means for area federal agencies

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 8:23 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Biden announced new vaccine mandates Thursday to push more people to get the COVID protection. It specifically includes federal government employees and federal contractors.

“If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated,” said President Joe Biden during Thursday address.

President Joe Biden’s aggressive push for the nation to get vaccinated wasn’t too much of a surprise for Childcare Resources center leaders.

“I wasn’t totally surprised, but I just wasn’t sure this would be the next statement if you will,” said Joan Wright, Executive Director Childcare Resources.

Joan Wright is the executive director of Childcare Resources which is a HeadStart provider in parts of Jefferson County. It works with about a dozen locations - where employees now fall under the umbrella of the new vaccine mandate as federal workers.

“We have received communication from the office of HeadStart that they have received the information and president made the announcement recently,” said Wright.

Wright says the agency is assessing what the rollout would look like and doesn’t have all the answers yet about when it will happen.

“This is so new that this is still going to be further communication sent about the expectations of implementing this information,” said Wright. “We’re most interested in evaluating the current situation, seeing what steps we need to take and how we need to move forward.”

Wright did note that HeadStarts do deal with high turnover rates with employees -- because of competitive pay, hours and during the pandemic some employees were concerned about their health. She says they’ll have to monitor if the mandate will have any additional impact on high turnover.

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