The executive order issued by President Joe Biden in September requires federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, the U.S. Department of Energy said. DOE said 84 percent of the department’s federal workforce was, at the time, fully vaccinated.
To comply with the November 22 deadline, DOE’s employees must complete their vaccinations by November 8. This would apply to the first Johnson & Johnson shot, a one-shot vaccine, or the second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots, both two-shot vaccines. People aren’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the final dose of a vaccine.
The U.S. Department of Energy notified its staff of the vaccine requirement on Tuesday last week.
“Protecting your health and safety is our top priority,” DOE told its staff. “To help ensure this, President Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. This applies to all federal employees regardless of remote, telework, or onsite reporting status, except in limited circumstances in which an employee may be exempt due to a legally required accommodation.”
Before DOE staff was notified last week, Oak Ridge Today had asked the National Nuclear Security Administration, the part of DOE that oversees work at Y-12 National Security Complex, and DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management whether they would require employees to be vaccinated. At that time, both said they were waiting for department guidance.
In its notice to staff last week, DOE said agencies are required to have federal employees provide proof of vaccination such as a picture of their vaccine card, and they have to certify under penalty of perjury that the documentation being submitted is true and correct.
Most employees, 88 percent of the federal workforce, recently provided information about their vaccinations through the MyEnergy system, DOE said.
“Based on the responses, 84 percent of DOE’s federal workforce is fully vaccinated!” the department said. “This is great news, but we still need to make progress to meet the November 22 deadline.”
DOE said the best thing you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, and others is to get vaccinated.
Here are the key dates that DOE sent to its staff:
|Moderna||Pfizer-BioNTech||Johnson & Johnson|
|FIRST SHOT||October 11, 2021||October 18, 2021||November 8, 2021|
|SECOND SHOT||November 8, 2021||November 8, 2021||n/a|
|FULLY VACCINATED||November 22, 2021||November 22, 2021||November 22, 2021|
Before DOE’s guidance was issued, Oak Ridge Today had asked NNSA about any vaccine requirements at Y-12 after the president’s announcement earlier in September of mandates for federal employees and contractors, and companies with 100 or more employees.
“The Department of Energy is developing department-wide guidance for the implementation of President Biden’s executive orders,” the NNSA said in a brief statement provided by Steven Wyatt, NNSA Production Office spokesperson. “The National Nuclear Security Administration anticipates providing that guidance to our labs, plants, and sites, including the Y-12 National Security Complex.”
Oak Ridge Today had also asked the DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management about possible vaccine requirements.
“The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management is awaiting further guidance from the Department of Energy to implement the president’s announcement, which is an important step in our return to in-person work,” OREM said in a statement provided by spokesperson Ben Williams. “In the meantime, we continue to strongly encourage all employees to get vaccinated.”
Oak Ridge Today has previously reported that Oak Ridge National Laboratory will require all staff members to have a current COVID-19 vaccination by October 15, and federal cleanup contractor UCOR is requiring vaccinations. Those requirements were announced after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, August 23.
Oak Ridge Today asked DOE about vaccination requirements for contractors and contractor employees at sites such as Y-12. DOE Press Secretary Kevin Liao said there is a separate executive order that applies to contractor employees, and the department is “awaiting additional guidance on the path forward on those actions.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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