To meet the president’s deadline, employees needed to have the first dose of the Moderna vaccine by Oct. 11 and the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by Monday. That’s because of the wait between the shots, as well the time it takes to build immunity after the second injection.
Otherwise, to comply with the order, federal workers must get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Nov. 8.
It’s yet to be seen how a shortfall could affect lines and wait times at Hartsfield-Jackson International, one of the world’s busiest airports. TSA said it does not have a breakdown of vaccination rates at individual airports.
The agency said it is hosting employee town halls, sending emails and posting information on the requirements in break rooms.
Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the TSA has “hinted at a potential real travel mess as Thanksgiving approaches,” if the vaccination rate for its employees doesn’t improve. He called for TSA to use K9 teams as a contingency plan for staffing and security at airports.
Schumer said the use of K9 teams, with specially trained dogs that sniff for explosives or potential bomb-making ingredients, “really works, and it moves the lines along.”