Vaccine Mandate Deadline Set for Jan. 4 for Private Employers

Today, Thursday, Nov. 4, the Biden Administration released the details of two major vaccination policies aimed at protecting employees from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

The following details from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mean two-thirds of all American workers will be covered by vaccination rules:

1. OSHA will require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 weekly. The OSHA rule will also require that these companies provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and sick leave for side effects as needed. It also will ensure all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace. This rule will cover 84 million employees.

The New York Times reported that "Companies that fail to comply may be subject to fines, a White House official said. An OSHA penalty is typically $13,653 for every serious violation, but can be up to 10 times that amount if OSHA determines that the violation is willful or repeated."

2. The CMS will require that health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid are fully vaccinated. The rule applies to more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 health care facilities, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Employees falling under these rules are required to have their final vaccination dose--either their second of Pfizer or Moderna or single dose of Johnson & Johnson—by Jan. 4, 2022. 

To help reduce barriers to vaccination and make it easier for employers to offer vaccines to their employees, the Corporate Health and Wellness team of Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions offers COVID-19 vaccination services and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. To learn more, call (615) 343–9520 or email