Fedweek

Federal employees who are making “good faith” efforts to produce missing records of their vaccination against the Coronavirus should not be disciplined for the meantime as being in violation of the Biden administration’s mandate, according to new guidance.

An agency “can hold any disciplinary action associated with failure to comply with the vaccination requirement in abeyance for a short period of time pending the employee’s submission of documentation providing proof of vaccination,” the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force said.

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“If an employee states that they have lost their vaccination documentation or do not have a copy of it, the agency should direct the employee to contact the vaccination provider site where they received their vaccine. If the location where the employee received their COVID-19 vaccine is no longer operating, the employee should contact their health care provider, who, in most cases, can access a state or local health department’s immunization information system (IIS) for the employee’s record,” the guidance says.

“In many states or localities, the employees may themselves be able to get their record by directly contacting the state or local health department’s IIS. Employees should contact their State or local health department if they have additional questions about vaccination cards or vaccination records,” it adds.

If an employee was vaccinated in another country, the agency “should direct the employee to contact the vaccination provider site where they received their vaccine for information on how to obtain records. Alternatively, the employee should contact the appropriate health department in that country.”

The latest guidance also extends eligibility for up to four hours of paid administrative leave to getting a booster shot, for those employees who are eligible, as well as for an immunocompromised employee to receive an additional dose. It says that leave for a booster shot can be applied retroactively to September 22 when the FDA first allowed for a booster of the Pfizer vaccine, and for additional doses for immunocompromised individuals to August 12, when the FDA first allowed that for those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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2021 Federal Employees Handbook