Executive Order on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees
SEPTEMBER 09, 2021
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 3301, 3302, and 7301 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of my Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. The Delta variant, currently the predominant variant of the virus in the United States, is highly contagious and has led to a rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations. The nationwide public health emergency, first declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services on January 31, 2020, remains in effect, as does the National Emergency Concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) declared pursuant to the National Emergencies Act in Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services has determined that the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent infection by the Delta variant or other variants is to be vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in the United States. They protect people from getting infected and severely ill, and they significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and death. As of the date of this order, one of the COVID-19 vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, also known as Comirnaty, has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and two others, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use. The FDA has determined that all three vaccines meet its rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.
The health and safety of the Federal workforce, and the health and safety of members of the public with whom they interact, are foundational to the efficiency of the civil service. 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. 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.
The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force), established by Executive Order 13991 of January 20, 2021 (Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing), has issued important guidance to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce. Agencies have also taken important actions, including in some cases requiring COVID-19 vaccination for members of their workforce.
Accordingly, building on these actions, and in light of the public health guidance regarding the most effective and necessary defenses against COVID-19, I have determined that to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all Federal employees, subject to such exceptions as required by law.
Sec. 2. Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Each agency shall implement, to the extent consistent with applicable law, a program to require COVID-19 vaccination for all of its Federal employees, with exceptions only as required by law. The Task Force shall issue guidance within 7 days of the date of this order on agency implementation of this requirement for all agencies covered by this order.
Sec. 3. Definitions. For the purposes of this order:
(a) The term “agency” means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 (excluding the Government Accountability Office).
(b) The term “employee” means an employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105 (including an employee paid from nonappropriated funds as referenced in 5 U.S.C. 2105(c)).
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(d) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of any of its other provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
THE WHITE HOUSE,