All Federal government workers are mandated to be fully vaccinated by November 22, which falls on the Monday before Thanksgiving, among the busiest days of travel in the U.S., making it crucial for the agency to avoid worker shortages.
"We have about 60% of our workforce has been vaccinated, that that number needs to go quite a bit higher over the next few weeks," TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CNN in an exclusive interview this week.
Federal government employees still have six weeks to get fully vaccinated, but options are limiting due to the varying timeframes of when the individual would become fully vaccinated.
Employees will be unable to get the Moderna vaccine as it requires the individual to wait four weeks before being given a second shot, meaning workers would have needed to get the first shot on or prior to October 11.
Federal government employees need to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by October 18, which requires a three-week waiting period in between the first and second shots, to meet the deadline.
Federal government employees would need to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot before November 8, two weeks prior to the November 22 deadline, in order to meet the mandate's requirements.
Pekoske said he was "very hopeful" that TSA employees would meet the deadline and believes the agency won't face potential worker shortages brought on by the mandate and ensuing terminations.
"We are building contingency plans, for if we do have some staffing shortages as a result of this, but I hope to avoid that," Pekoske said.