A group of House Democrats is urging the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to allocate COVID-19 vaccinations for the Federal workforce, many of whom are considered essential workers.
Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., Gerry Connolly, D-Va., Anthony Brown, D-Md., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., David Trone, D-Md., and Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. sent a letter on Feb. 18 to Kathleen McGettigan, acting director of OPM, and Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.
“The National Capital Region is home to the largest concentration of federal employees and these workers often qualify as essential workers,” the letter reads. “That means that Virginia, D.C., and Maryland have a disproportionate number of individuals classified as essential workers by the federal government yet the responsibility of vaccination falls under these sub Federal jurisdictions.”
The group stressed that the Federal government is placing an “undue burden” on state and local vaccine programs and should recognize this and make an accommodation.
Additionally, the group highlighted that the Federal government has previously made accommodations, such as programs established to offset tax revenues that provide payments to counties, local governments, or school districts that include tax-exempt Federal property.
“Rather than foisting Federal employees into Virginia, D.C., or Maryland’s supply of vaccines and increasing their essential worker vaccination responsibilities, the Federal government should vaccinate Federal employees through a separate federalized allocation to get them vaccinated as soon as possible,” the lawmakers wrote.