Bill Oxford / istock

See Every Major Agency's COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

The Agriculture Department is the least vaccinated large federal agency.

Agriculture Department employees are least likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 of employees in any major federal agency, according to data the White House released Wednesday, while the Interior Department must begin the disciplinary process for the highest rate of workers. 

Two days after President Biden's vaccination deadline, about 92% of the 3.5 million federal civil servants and active-duty military personnel governmentwide have been inoculated, according to data from the Office of Management and Budget. An additional 4.5% have requested medical or religious exemptions, leaving more than 122,000 employees out of compliance with the mandate. Those employees are now entering the progressive disciplinary process, starting with counseling efforts that seek to convince them to get inoculated and potentially ending with their firing.

“This next stage of the process will not result in disruptions to government services and operations and will result in more employees becoming vaccinated,” OMB said on Wednesday.

At least one agency, the Justice Department, is moving swiftly with additional punishments. Unvaccinated and unexempted Justice employees will face suspensions before Christmas and removals in January. More than 97% of the department's workforce is in compliance with Biden's orders, though only 90% is vaccinated. Government Executive has spoken to many employees across government who have vowed to retire or accept a firing before getting vaccinated, but most of those individuals have requested exemptions. 

The U.S. Agency for International Development is the most vaccinated of the 24 agencies for which OMB released data, at nearly 98%, followed by the Health and Human Services Department and the National Science Foundation. The Veterans Affairs Department and Social Security Administration joined USDA in bringing up the bottom of the pack, with all three agencies holding vaccination rates under 88%. VA has the highest exemption request rate, with 10% of its workers asking to opt out of the mandate. VA Secretary Denis McDonough has said VA will deny exemptions to some employees with valid religious requests if granting them would make some health care facilities become too concentrated with unvaccinated staff. 

Interior will be the only major agency to enter more than 5% of its workforce, or about 3,500 employees, into the disciplinary process due to non-compliance. SSA and DHS will both also do so for about 5% of their workforces, or another roughly 15,000 individuals. The chart below shows all 24 major agencies’ vaccination and compliance rates (employees either vaccinated or with a pending exemption request):