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Biden admin announces end of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and takes victory lap, claiming its 'broader vaccination campaign has saved millions of lives'

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration has announced that it will nix the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for international travelers flying into the U.S.

The administration will also end its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees, though the administration had already been blocked from enforcing that mandate.

"Today, we are announcing that the Administration will end the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors, and international air travelers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency ends," the White House declared.

"Additionally, HHS and DHS announced today that they will start the process to end their vaccination requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border. In the coming days, further details related to ending these requirements will be provided," the press release states.

The announcement comes more than three years after the COVID-19 panic first erupted around the globe.

"On May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration announced its plans to end certain Federal COVID-19 vaccination requirements, including those for Federal employees and Federal contractors, at the end of the day on May 11. In the coming days, President Biden will be issuing an Executive Order rescinding the vaccination requirement for Federal employees and COVID-19 safety protocols for Federal contractors, effective at 12:01 am on May 12, 2023," according to the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force website.

"In the interim, agencies should continue to take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees to ensure compliance with the applicable preliminary nationwide injunction," the site states. "Similarly, with respect to Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, agencies should not take any steps to require covered contractors and subcontractors to come into compliance with previously issued Safer Federal Task Force guidance, or enforce any contract clauses implementing Executive Order 14042."

Many people who received COVID-19 vaccines still caught the illness — but the Biden administration is taking a victory lap, asserting that its vaccination push "saved millions of lives."

"Our COVID-19 vaccine requirements bolstered vaccination across the nation, and our broader vaccination campaign has saved millions of lives. We have successfully marshalled a response to make historic investments in broadly accessible vaccines, tests, and treatments to help us combat COVID-19. While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary," the White House press release claimed.

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