Federal contractors must be vaccinated by Dec. 8

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

Credit: Charles Dharapak

Credit: Charles Dharapak

Guidance released by the federal government Friday said federal contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated no later than Dec. 8.

“After that date, all covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by the first day of the period of performance on a newly awarded covered contract, and by the first day of the period of performance on an exercised option or extended or renewed contract when the clause has been incorporated into the covered contract,” the guidance states.

The guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force springs from President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order that requires private employers of more than 100 employees to require those workers to either get vaccinated or to be tested weekly for the virus, an order affecting about 80 million Americans.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

And some 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated, according to the order.

The guidance covers all federal contracts and “contract-like instruments for services,” according to law firm Crowell Moring.

The guidance requires employees who work from home or remotely, work outdoors, or who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection to get the vaccine. It also applies to small businesses.

“One of the main goals of this science-based plan is to get more people vaccinated,” the guidance says.

John Grill, procurement counselor at the Ohio University Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), said the guidance is not technically law yet. And the rule is not yet built into any current contract, he said.

“They are encouraging contracting officers to build this into the contracts before it goes into the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations),” a series of federal regulations that guide federal acquisition standards companies must meet to be eligible for contract awards.

He encourages companies to contact their contracting officers with questions and concerns. “They’re the only warranted officers who can change that contract,” Grill said.

The PTAC helps small businesses work with federal, state, and local governments at no cost to them through a series of grants and funding. Grill is a local counselor in Dayton supporting companies in the area.

The Dayton area, around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, has plenty of federal contractors. The base itself employs more than 30,000 uniformed, civilian and contractor employees, the largest single-site concentration of jobs in the state of Ohio. GovernmentContractsWon.com counts more than 900 defense contractors in Dayton, with the number of contracts awarded from 2000 to 2020 put at 168,072.