The vaccine mandates President Biden announced on September 9 have not aged well. Two are enjoined nationwide and a skeptical Supreme Court so undermined one that the government withdrew it, at least for the immediate future. Only one, an interim final rule applicable to employees at healthcare facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds, is still standing. And it is questionable whether that mandate will remain in place once it becomes clear what the impact on operations will be on attrition caused by requiring personnel at those medical facilities to be vaccinated irrespective of their personal objections (those employees can apply for medical or religious accommodations, but the exceptions are narrow).
While three of the federal mandates are unraveling, contractors should understand their current status and continue to monitor them. Litigation is ongoing, so it is possible, although increasingly unlikely, that two of them – the federal contractor and federal employee mandates – will be back. In addition, several federal facilities are still requiring as a condition of entry that contractor employees working on those facilities sign certifications as to their vaccination status and, if not vaccinated, present a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours.