Bureau Of Indian Education Requiring Vaccines Staff

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Friday, September 3, 2021 - 3:49pm

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The Bureau of Indian Education, part of the U.S. Interior Department, announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate Thursday, covering more than 2,800 faculty and staff at 53 schools.

More than 180 schools operate under the agency’s umbrella, but about two-thirds are run by tribes and are not affected by the bureau’s mandate.

BIE schools are currently operating under a mix of virtual and in-person settings, depending on circumstances in surrounding communities and input from tribal and health officials.

Deb Haaland
U.S. Department of the Interior
Deb Haaland

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says bureau employees must be vaccinated no later than Oct.15 and provide proof. Those who don’t comply could be fired or lose their contract.

Schools will consider individual requests for exemptions, but are able to require unvaccinated employees to undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

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