Frequently Asked Questions

Does this order apply to all Department of the Army Civilians and when is the deadline?

Yes. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance requires all federal employees covered by 5 USC 2105 to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021.

That means employees must complete required vaccination dose(s) by November 8, as they will not become “fully vaccinated” until 2 weeks after their final dose (the second of 2 doses for Pfizer and Moderna, and the first dose for Johnson and Johnson).

Employees need to begin vaccination as early as Oct. 11, 2021, if they choose a two dose vaccine.

What happens to DA Civilians who decline to be vaccinated?

Per OPM guidance, employees who refuse to be vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination are subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including removal or termination from Federal service. The Army will issue guidance regarding disciplinary measures for refusal when the Federal Safe Workforce Task Force and OSD clarify guidance regarding disciplinary measures for refusal.

Can DA Civilians request an exemption to the COVID vaccine requirement?

Yes. Information on the process for civilian employees to request an exemption is anticipated to be published in FHP 23, Revision 1. Civilian employees anticipating submission of an exemption for medical reasons through their supervisory chain should begin the process of coordination with their health care provider(s) for consultation and supporting documentation to support exemption requests in preparation for submission.

Exemption requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis as per pending FHP 23 Revision 1 and any additional army guidance issued, and civilian employees should be prepared to initiate vaccine sequence immediately if exemption requests are denied or the employee is unable to meet exemption criteria once identified.

If a DA Civilian is requesting an exemption, will they receive disciplinary action for missing the Nov. 22 deadline?

Disciplinary action will not be initiated against civilian employees who will not achieve fully vaccinated status by Nov. 22 if they are pending a decision on a medical or religious exemption request.

What about DA Civilians who previously had COVID-19, are they considered vaccinated?

No. Employees are considered fully vaccinated two weeks post completion of a two-dose series vaccine or two weeks post completion of a single dose vaccine. This is in accordance with current CDC recommendations that you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:

  • Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination at https://www.cdc.gov.

Will new employees have to be vaccinated before they begin work?

Yes. New DA Civilian employees must be fully vaccinated by their entry on duty (start) date or Nov. 22, 2021, whichever is later.

Safer Federal Workforce FAQ

What vaccines can DA Civilians receive to meet this requirement?

To meet this requirement, individuals must be vaccinated with vaccines that are either fully licensed or authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (e.g., Comirnaty/Pfizer-BioNTech, Modema, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen); listed for emergency use on the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford); or approved for use in a clinical trial vaccine for which vaccine efficacy has been independently confirmed (e.g., Novavax).

Where can DA Civilians receive the vaccine?

In accordance with Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, "Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance," December 7, 2020, DoD civilian employees are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at any DoD vaccination site, including military medical treatment facilities.

They may also opt to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at locations other than DoD vaccination sites, including retail stores, private medical practices, and/or local and State public health department sites.

I’ve already received my COVID vaccine, will I have to provide documentation to my supervisor?

Employees, including those who have already received COVID-19 vaccines, must be prepared to provide a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record when requested in order to meet forthcoming procedures for DoD COVID-19 vaccination verification.

Such proof could include, but may not be limited to, a copy of the record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy; a copy of the COVID-19 vaccination record card, a copy of medical records documenting the vaccination, a copy of immunization records from a public health or state immunization information system; or a copy of any other official documentation.

Will federal employees be granted administrative leave to receive the vaccine?

No. When a federal employee is required to be vaccinated, the time the employee spends obtaining any COVID-19 vaccination (including travel time) is duty time; thus, there is no need for the employee to take administrative leave for such time during the employee’s basic tour of duty.

Employees may not be credited with administrative leave for time spent getting a vaccination. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, the employee is unable to obtain the vaccine during basic tour of duty hours, the normal overtime hours of work rules apply.

What about side effects from the vaccine? Am I required to come to work, even if I experience side effects?

Employees will receive up to two days of administrative leave to address any side effects from the vaccination. Employees will also receive paid time off to accompany a family member being vaccinated.

For this purpose, a “family member” is an individual who meets the definition of that term in OPM’s leave regulations (see 5 CFR 630.201).

What about DA Civilians who are also members of the reserve components?

If not on active duty orders, these individuals will complete vaccination in accordance with published civilian employee vaccination guidelines.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) FAQ