Schumer urges TSA to plan for holiday travel as 40% of employees remain unvaccinated


NEW YORK — As the deadline for federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 falls around the holiday season, New York Sen. Charles Schumer has urged the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to come up with a plan to avoid a holiday travel mess.

The plan includes the deployment of additional TSA canine dog teams across the country wherever staffing and security are a concern due to vaccination rates, which could include LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International airports.

About 40% of TSA employees remain unvaccinated, according to Schumer.

“News from the TSA that 40% of its employees are unvaccinated could create a turbulent travel experience for Americans and New Yorkers as the holidays approach, but if the agency plans now with contingencies that include the deployment of canine dog teams—wherever vaccine rates are impacting staffing and security—travel headaches could be avoided,” Schumer said in a statement.

There is a Nov. 22 deadline for federal workers to be fully vaccinated. 

Schumer has been an advocate for canine teams that are highly trained to detect explosives and substances and can assist vaccinated TSA agents with luggage screening and help reduce wait times.

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