Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22, as per President Joe Biden’s mandate.
In order for a person to be considered “fully vaccinated” and their body to build immunity, two weeks must pass after their second shot (of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine) or after Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Janssen vaccine.
Hence, federal employees who have not been inoculated yet need to receive their second dose of two-dose vaccines on Monday, November 8, the latest.
Employees who refuse to be vaccinated or do not provide proof of vaccination by this date may be subject to disciplinary measures, unless they have approved medical or religious exemptions. Disciplinary actions may also include removal or termination from Federal service, according to Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja.
Federal agencies can start the enforcement process against unvaccinated workers as soon as November 9.
“I have determined that ensuring the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service requires immediate action to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce,” Biden said in his September 9 executive order. “It is essential that Federal employees take all available steps to protect themselves and avoid spreading COVID-19 to their co-workers and members of the public. The CDC has found that the best way to do so is to be vaccinated.”
In late October, House Republicans expressed concern about the Biden administration’s coronavirus mandate. Rep. Chris Stewart called the nearing deadline an upcoming “train wreck,” while Rep. Darin LaHood claimed federal agencies including CIA would have to fire hundreds of employees.