Today is deadline for feds to get final COVID-19 vaccine, or face discipline

Monday, Nov. 8 is the deadline for federal employees to receive their final vaccination against COVID-19, under President Joe Biden’s mandate. Discipline could begin Tuesday.

The mandate requires federal employees be fully vaccinated, which occurs two weeks after the injection, or have an approved religious or medical exemption, by Nov. 22.

That means, an employee would have to receive a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second of two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, by the end of Monday, Nov. 8.

The Office of Personnel Management says agencies can begin imposing disciplinary action starting Tuesday.

OPM is suggesting progressive disciplinary measures, with the hopes that employees will choose to comply with the mandate during the process.

Under progressive discipline, an agency can counsel an employee on the reasons behind mandated vaccination, followed by a short suspension, up to termination.

Failing to comply with a federal vaccine mandate is considered an act of misconduct. OPM says there is legal precedent for punishing federal employees who don’t get vaccinated.

OPM has been recommending agencies require vaccinations before new hires start working for the federal government.

Last week, the Biden administration pushed back the deadline for federal contractors to comply with the vaccine mandate, from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4, 2022.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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