Important Update on NC State Employee COVID Vaccine Requirements

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[View the original announcement at Protect the Pack.]

NC State faculty and staff,

President Biden’s executive order 14042 and subsequent guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force requires covered employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Since the order and guidance were issued, NC State and UNC System officials have been working to determine campus impacts and appropriate next steps.

NC State is a leading research university with more than $360 million in active federal contracts that advance our university’s critical mission of teaching, research and statewide outreach. As a result, NC State is subject to these new requirements, and all employees who are covered by the federal directives must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, 2021, unless they request and are approved for a university-approved medical or religious accommodation.

Per the federal requirements, testing is not permitted as an alternative, and employees who have had a previous COVID-19 infection are still required to be vaccinated. This requirement is only for the initial course of vaccinations, not for boosters.

Who Is Affected?

The federal vaccine requirement applies to all full-time and part-time employees, including postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, who are working on or in connection with a federal contract or who work in the same location as employees working on a federal contract.

Fortunately, as a result of our university’s efforts to encourage vaccinations and our community’s commitment to protecting the Pack, a vast majority of our employees are already vaccinated and have met the requirements of the new federal vaccine mandate.

We are taking a measured approach to addressing this requirement, and we are in the process of identifying employees who are likely affected. Beginning today, NC State will start notifying unvaccinated employees, unvaccinated postdoctoral scholars and unvaccinated graduate assistants who are working on or in connection with a federal contract that they need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. As we continue to evaluate the requirements and obtain additional federal and UNC System guidance, it is likely that more employees will be subject to this requirement.

Important Dates for the Requirement

Under federal guidance, individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing either a second dose in a two-dose series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. To be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, time frames vary depending on the manufacturer for vaccines authorized in the United States:

  • Moderna: The first dose must be administered at least six weeks ahead, which is Oct. 27, and the second dose must be administered by Nov. 24.
  • Pfizer: The first dose must be administered at least five weeks ahead, which is Nov. 3, and the second dose must be administered by Nov. 24.
  • Johnson & Johnson: The only dose required of this single-dose vaccine must be administered by Nov. 24.

Regardless of your employee status, and whether or not you work on or in connection with a federal contract, you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

Getting Vaccinated and Uploading Records

Vaccination appointments are available at NC State’s PackVax clinic. Schedule your appointment for an on-campus vaccine. Vaccines are also available from local health departments, your physician’s office and local drugstores. Visit the state of North Carolina’s Find a Vaccine or Booster Location tool to get the latest information on vaccination availability. Employees are allowed to use work time to get a vaccine; please see the COVID leave provisions for more information.

If you receive your vaccination off campus, you need to upload your vaccine status to the HealthyPack Portal to verify that you have met the vaccination requirement. If you receive your vaccine at the NC State PackVax clinic, you do not need to upload your vaccine record.

Next Steps

NC State is continuing to review all applicable guidance and will provide updates as appropriate. Please continue to visit the Protect the Pack site for updated information related to COVID-19.

Vaccination remains the most important protection against COVID-19. More than 82% of our community has already been vaccinated on campus or has provided proof of vaccination. Thank you for your flexibility and resolve in adjusting to COVID protocols. Together, we can maintain our university’s positive momentum and keep one another as safe as possible.

Randy Woodson