Official: More than 90% of fed workers got shots by deadline

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Data published on Friday showed fewer than half of vaccinated workers were absent for 11 days or more due to virus

Official: More than 90% of fed workers got shots by deadline

More than 90% of federal workers who were owed special flu shots by Thursday were given them in an effort to stave off a looming shutdown over the issue, government data showed on Friday.

But the data showed only about half of those who were scheduled to be vaccinated were working for the federal government.

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Under a directive by Barack Obama, sick federal workers could get a flu shot until 1 November, the last day the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could process benefits claims.

Following Donald Trump’s decision to back out of Obama’s plan, the agency was temporarily closed on Wednesday and early Thursday, with some employees at regional offices sending messages to affected colleagues telling them to call if they were sick, according to an insider.

Friday’s data from the CDC showed that of people who sought permission to get a shot, 80.8% received them, 98.4% of whom were working at the CDC at the time, while 4.2% were on paid leave.

Another 26.2% were assigned to jobs outside the public health service, according to the CDC. Of those, 7.2% were taking extended sick leave or furloughed.

Employees who can return to their jobs in 10 days have until 23:59 on 20 November to do so and those who can go back in 24 days have until 26 November.

The CDC says it has 5,500 flu shots left.

The CDC said nearly 2,800 of its employees have a flu shot on file and 46,456 have had their flu shots previously.

The total paid for by taxpayers was $3,362,730, said the CDC. The CDC said employees should “discard the vaccine once all employees have received their vaccine so the delivery of influenza vaccine to the influenza vaccine inventory can continue”.

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