UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After a careful review of President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors and guidance issued by the federal Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, Penn State has determined that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate already in place at seven campuses must be extended to two additional campuses — Berks and Schuylkill — because of work being conducted on those campuses under federal contracts and agreements.
In compliance with the executive order, all employees affiliated with these campuses must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8. The mandate includes full-time and part-time faculty, staff and technical service workers, even if they are working remotely. This requirement also applies to graduate and undergraduate students supported on wage payroll, as well as all students supported on graduate assistantships at these campuses.
As a point of clarification, the vaccine mandate also applies to all Penn State Extension employees across the commonwealth. As part of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Extension employees are part of one of the largest colleges that receive extensive federal funding under contracts and cooperative agreements.
The University previously announced that all faculty and staff affiliated with the University Park campus must get vaccinated to comply with the executive order, as do all employees affiliated with six other Commonwealth Campus locations: Altoona, Behrend, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette and Harrisburg.
The executive order applies to employees in buildings even where no federal contracting work takes place, unless the institution can “affirmatively determine” that none of the employees in those buildings will come into contact with any employee affiliated with a federal contract.
Because of the federal deadline of Dec. 8, all employees affiliated with these campuses who are not already vaccinated are strongly urged to start the process immediately. Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which require four weeks or three weeks between doses, respectively. Nov. 24 is the last day individuals can get their final dose to meet the Dec. 8 deadline.
In order to meet the Dec. 8 deadline to be fully vaccinated, individuals must get their first and second doses of the various vaccines no later than these dates:
- Pfizer-BioNTech: first dose by Nov. 3; second dose by Nov. 24
- Johnson & Johnson: single dose by Nov. 24
The last day to start the vaccination process and meet the deadline to be fully vaccinated using the Moderna vaccine was Oct. 27.
After receiving their second dose, individuals need to share with the University proof that they are fully vaccinated. Instructions on how to upload proof of vaccination are available on Penn State News. Individuals who have already uploaded an image of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card do not need to take any action.
Under the umbrella of the executive order, all Penn State employees at the impacted campuses must be vaccinated unless they are entitled to a disability/medical- or religious-related accommodation. Procedures, including potential employment sanctions, are in place for employees who violate University policies intended to comply with federal requirements.
More information on religious accommodations is available via Penn State News. Details on medical/disability accommodations is forthcoming.
All three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are readily available at hospitals, urgent care centers, doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Providers can be easily located by visiting Vaccines.gov.