Few vaccine loopholes for contractors

A news analysis outlines several major companies' moves to comply with the contractor EO—and predicts very limited success for those who remain in opposition.


The White House,  facing continuing high COVID infection and mortality rates in many areas of the U.S., issued an executive order (EO) Sept. 9, commanding all federal agencies to require employees without legitimate exemptions to get vaccinated. The deadline for that order remains set for Nov. 22.

On that same date, a related order was issued aimed at federal contractors— pushing the Federal Workforce Task Force on COVID to issue guidelines, in effect commanding federal contractor companies and their employees to get vaccinated, too. Despite controversy, the deadline for compliance—that is, for contractors to be vaccinated—remains set at Dec. 8.

Yet, with considerable anti-vaccination sentiment evident in some areas of the country (unfortunately, especially so in areas of higher rates of COVID mortality)— for example, the South and Midwest— there is continuing pushback against the orders. Resistance is pronounced among some opponents of the contractor order, as shown in a recent letter from multiple states attorneys general to the Biden administration and ably outlined in a new report in Air Force magazine, entitled Contractor employees who object to vaccines may not get much backup.

The report briefly explores man- dates issued by such large contractors as Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and others. One legal angle leveraged by opponents of these mandates, the report notes, has been to cite local and state laws and orders banning vaccination mandates.

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