Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has dropped his COVID-19 booster requirement for state employees, including state troopers, Fox13 in Seattle has reported.
But the Democrat is still requiring all state workers to be fully vaccinated with two shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
According to the television news, Inslee had ordered the booster requirement just over a month ago, but has offered no reason why he decided to drop it now.
In an Aug. 5 directive, he said: "As a condition of employment, all new employees of state agencies must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"All current exempt employees must be fully vaccinated.
"A person is 'fully vaccinated' against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine [e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna] or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine [e.g., Johnson & Johnson] authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise authorized or approved by the FDA or listed for emergency use or otherwise approved by the World Health Organization.
"Additionally, to promote ongoing protection among our state workforce against severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19, I direct OFM [the Office of Financial Management] to pursue options to incentivize all state executive and small cabinet agency employees to remain fully vaccinated with the most up to date vaccination, including any additional doses or boosters, as recommended by the CDC."
Elizabeth Hovde with the Washington Policy Center said: "I think the incentive is going to come in the form of compensation or a bonus."
"The governor is in negotiations now with labor unions, and that seems to be directing the course," she said. "It's not the fact that so many people have lost their careers because of the mandate."
Fox13 said emails to the governor's office for comment went unanswered.
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