Congressional staffers eligible to receive coronavirus vaccine

Congressional staffers eligible to receive coronavirus
vaccine 1

Congress’ attending physician informed lawmakers Monday night that two staffers in every House member and senator’s personal offices are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

In addition, the Office of the Attending Physician is offering the vaccine to four staffers of every committee chair and every ranking committee member.

The announcement, a memo from Brian Monahan to all congressional offices, emphasized that the first wave of staff vaccines is meant for “critical” employees, those whose jobs are deemed essential for “continuity of operations,” require physical presence or are likely to involve in-person interactions.

“Employees who occupy positions determined to make them eligible for the vaccine under these standards will be and/or have been notified of their status separately and provided with logistical information regarding the process for scheduling an appointment for the vaccination,” Monahan said in the memo to lawmakers.

He added, “We will continue to keep the House community informed of further supply of COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available on a wider scale.”

House members and senators began receiving the first of two coronavirus vaccine shots earlier this month, part of a batch distributed pursuant to national security directives to ensure the “continuity of government.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received their first shots, as did numerous other lawmakers, some of whom posted photos and videos of their appointments to encourage others to get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to them.

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Congress received a limited batch of vaccines for lawmakers in mid-December that Monahan at the time indicated would be parceled to a small number of staffers if supplies permitted. His Monday night memo suggested that the early batch will provide for more than 1,000 Capitol Hill staffers to receive the two-shot regimen.

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