To defend the Nation and protect the American people, we need a healthy and ready Total Force. To accomplish this, the Secretary of Defense directed the mandatory vaccination of Service members against the coronavirus disease 2019 by signing the memorandum, “Mandatory Corona virus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members,” on Aug. 24.
On Sept. 9, the President of the United States directed Executive Branch agencies to implement a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Federal employees to ensure the health and safety of the Federal workforce and members of the public with whom they interact by signing Executive Order 14043, “Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees.”
All DOD civilian employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, subject to exemptions as required by law. Employees are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or 2 weeks after receiving a single dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
New DOD civilian employees must be fully vaccinated by their entry on duty (start) date or Nov. 22, whichever is later.
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 (e.g., Comirnaty/Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, 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). Those with previous COVID-19 infection(s) or previous serology are not considered fully vaccinated on that basis for the purposes of this mandate.
Those who are not currently fully vaccinated must meet the following deadlines, if using vaccines that are fully licensed or authorized for emergency use by the FDA, in order to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22:
- Oct. 11: first dose deadline (if receiving the Moderna vaccine);
- Oct. 18: first dose deadline (if receiving the Comirnaty/Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine);
- Nov. 8: second dose deadline (if receiving the Moderna and Comirnaty/PfizerBioNTech vaccines); and
- Nov. 8: first (only) dose deadline (if receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine).
In accordance with Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance,” Dec. 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. Employees, including those who have already received COVID-19 vaccines, must be prepared to provide a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record in order to meet forthcoming procedures for DOD COVID-19 vaccination verification.
Additional guidance, in-cluding procedures for processing vaccination exemption requests, will be published by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. The USD(P&R) is authorized to rescind this memorandum as necessary for purposes of providing updated guidance.
Vaccinating DOD civilian employees against COVID-19 will save lives and allow for the defense of our Nation. Thank you for your focus on this critical mission.