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Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for NIH Staff

NIH is committed to keeping all staff apprised of the federal mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements as information comes available. All NIH staff, including employees, contractors, trainees, volunteers and tenants will be required to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, unless approved for a medical or religious exemption by NIH.

A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their final dose. Accepted vaccines are those approved or authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson and Moderna), those approved by the World Health Organization (https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/vaccines/covid-19-vaccines), or a full vaccine series (not a placebo) in a clinical trial (e.g., Novavax). Proof of vaccination can be your CDC vaccination card, or documentation from the immunization system or your provider. If you lost your card, visit this CDC website for help in locating your vaccination documentation: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/contacts-locate-records.html.

Information about the requirements and important dates are provided below by staff type – NIH Federal Employees and Other NIH Staff.

NIH Federal Employees

NIH federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine by November 22, 2021, unless approved for a medical or religious exemption by NIH. This means federal employees must receive the last shot of the series no later than November 8, 2021, to meet the fully vaccinated requirement by November 22, 2021. This requirement applies to all NIH federal employees, including those working onsite at an NIH facility, maximum telework and remotely. New NIH federal employees who start their tour of duty after November 22, 2021, will need to be fully vaccinated prior to their start date unless approved for a medical or religious exemption by NIH.

Vaccinated at NIH

Federal employees (including Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers) who were fully vaccinated at NIH do not need to take any action at this time as NIH has a record of your vaccination. Federal employees who received a partial vaccination at NIH (one dose in a two-dose series) are not considered fully vaccinated. If you still need your second dose, you can schedule an appointment at NIH. If one of your two doses was received in the community, that dose must be reported to NIH. Please follow the instructions in the 'Vaccinated in the Community' section of this email.

Vaccinated in the Community

Federal employees (including Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers) who were fully vaccinated in the community (not at NIH) and previously submitted an online vaccination form will receive an email from "OMSCovidVaccineProgram" with a unique link (only to be used by the recipient of the email) to update your information and submit your proof of vaccination as part of the new requirements. If you do not receive an email by October 1, 2021, you may use the link to the Vaccination Status form to submit this information: https://ors.od.nih.gov/Pages/report-vaccination-received.aspx.

Federal employees (including Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers) who were fully vaccinated in the community and did not submit an online vaccination form will need to upload proof of vaccination and complete the Vaccination Status form: https://ors.od.nih.gov/Pages/report-vaccination-received.aspx​.

Proof of vaccination must be submitted and received in the system no later than November 22, 2021.

Get Vaccinated

Federal employees (including Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers) who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or received one dose of a two-dose series at NIH can still get vaccinated at NIH by appointment. You can schedule an appointment at NIH in three ways:

  1. Register and schedule online (https://clinweb.cc.nih.gov/cct). 
  2. Call 301-480-8990 (press 4) to speak to an NIH Occupational Medical Service (OMS) staff member (Interpretive services are available).​
  3. Email OMSCOVIDVaccineProgram@mail.nih.gov.

You also can get vaccinated in your community by going to https://www.vaccines.gov or texting your zip code to 438829, which will return the three closest vaccination sites near you. If you are vaccinated in the community, you will need to report it to NIH (see 'Vaccinated in the Community' above).

Requesting a Medical or Religious Exemption

Federal employees (including Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers) may request a medical or religious exemption to this mandate in the Vaccination Status form (https://ors.od.nih.gov/Pages/report-vaccination-received.aspx); those requests will be rigorously reviewed. After a federal employee submits a request for exemption, they will be contacted once the details of the process are finalized. Federal employees denied a religious or medical exemption who refuse to be vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021, may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service.

Other NIH Staff​

Based on implementation requirements, contractors and other NIH staff (trainees, volunteers and tenants) will be asked to provide vaccination information (including possible requests for medical or religious exemption) at a later date. Covered contract employees must be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021. This means contractors must receive the last shot of the series no later than November 24, 2021, to meet the fully vaccinated requirement by December 8, 2021. Additional information regarding contracts will be forthcoming. Contractors who were vaccinated at the NIH may be asked by their employers to provide documentation to verify vaccination. Misplaced vaccination cards can be downloaded from the Clinical Center Follow My Health App. Contractors should contact their employers or Contracting Officer Representatives (COR) with questions.

Contractors, trainees, volunteers and tenants who have not been vaccinated are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. Please follow the instructions in the 'Not Yet Vaccinated' section above.

Additional Resources

More information about federal vaccination requirements is available on the following sites:

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