Biden Extends Federal Contractors Vaccine Mandate to January

November 6, 2021Maggie BenZvi
federal vaccine mandate VA

COVID-19 immunization cards are distributed to vaccine recipients following their vaccinations Dec. 16, 2020, at Naval Health Clinic Hawaii. US Navy photo by Macy Hinds.

Federal contractors, including those who work directly for the military, will have almost another full month to meet a vaccine mandate deadline, after President Joe Biden announced a new deadline on Thursday. All employees of companies with more than 100 employees who hold government contracts must now be vaccinated by Jan. 4.

Previously, all federal contractors were required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. Any employees who had not started a vaccination process would have had to take the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot by the day before Thanksgiving to meet that deadline. The new deadline means that contractors now have time to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series instead. The final dose must be received by Jan. 4.

“It’s a little bit more complicated, obviously in the private sector for our contractors and our shipyards, but I think that they’re really making great attempts to try to educate their workforce that it just simply makes sense to get vaccinated,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said Thursday at the 2021 Aspen Security Forum.

air force vaccine
US Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rosemary Nantz, a Reserve citizen airman, receives her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Tech. Sgt. Sarah Hora, an Air Force Reserve medical technician — both are with the 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron — at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Feb. 6, 2021. US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ann Butler.

Some major defense contractors have made clear that not everyone in their workforce will meet the federal contractor mandate.

“We are proactively increasing our hiring now in anticipation that we may have some loss of workers,” Northrop Grumman CEO Kathy Warden said during the company’s quarterly earnings call last week.

But as one anonymous industry source told Defense One, many of the executives at large contractors are frustrated by the reluctance of a portion of their employees to vaccinate themselves.

“If you don’t like science, don’t work for a science company,” the source said.

Read Next: 800 Say ‘No’ at Air Force Vaccine Deadline

Maggie BenZvi
Maggie BenZvi

Maggie BenZvi is a contributing editor for Coffee or Die. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University, and has worked for the ACLU as well as the International Rescue Committee. She has also completed a summer journalism program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In addition to her work at Coffee or Die, she’s a stay-at-home mom and, notably, does not drink coffee. Got a tip? Get in touch!

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