Washington, D.C. – Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by IRS Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government – released the following statement reacting to reports that the administration is considering a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all members of the Civil Service:
“In this historic and destructive pandemic, we are proud of America’s leadership in developing lifesaving vaccines to protect against COVID-19. We implore all our members, their staff, and all eligible Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible. However, a vaccination mandate would be the first of its kind if imposed upon the entire workforce,” Hooper said.
“Consistent with vaccines for other illnesses, such as measles or influenza, PMA believes that agency leadership should have the discretion to determine whether any, some, or all of their staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19. We ask the administration to consult closely with experts at OSHA and OPM as well as management associations, federal employee unions, and agency leadership before proposing any vaccination mandate,” Hooper continued.
“At this time, no COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval from the FDA, and this may be contributing to vaccine hesitancy across our country. We must ask the administration to craft any such mandate with care and consideration of our members’ individual contraindications as well as their closely held personal and religious beliefs.”
“To promote vaccinations among the Civil Service, the administration should reconsider its current posture that Federal Occupational Health Centers do not carry COVID-19 vaccine supply. Many IRS workers rely on FOH to get their annual flu vaccine and may feel more comfortable obtaining this type of care from someone they already trust,” Hooper explained.
Hooper concluded, “COVID-19 is a serious and life-threatening illness. We are fortunate to live and work in a nation capable of producing safe, effective vaccines to protect against contracting this virus. If you are eligible to receive a vaccine, please do so as soon as possible. As the nation’s model employer, we hope that any decision made about vaccinating the federal workforce will comport with all applicable laws, regulations, EEOC determinations, and collective bargaining agreements, while respecting workers’ beliefs and medical circumstances.”