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ACEC News / Advocacy

December 10, 2021

Latest Update on the Federal Vaccine Mandate

By Dan Hilton

As you have likely learned, a nationwide injunction has been temporarily instituted on EO 14042, the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Before these rulings, contractors had until January 18 to ensure their employees working on and in connection with covered contractors were fully vaccinated.

It is important to know that a preliminary injunction is not a final ruling on the substance of this case. Both sides will now begin briefing and arguments to determine whether the Georgia court will issue an order permanently enjoining the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate. The dates of enforcement, however, are expected to now be delayed.

What should you be doing now? With this temporary halt of enforcement, firms should be connecting with their contracting officers at once to determine next steps; some have already begun hearing from their federal clients. If the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force proceeds as they did following the Kentucky ruling, then they will likely instruct agencies to issue a memo and class deviation like the Department of Defense did here, which included the following guidance:

Effective immediately, to ensure compliance with the preliminary injunction, contracting officers shall follow the OMB Preliminary Guidance at Attachment 2. Contracting officers shall exempt new and existing solicitations and contracts, task orders, and delivery orders that will be performed, in whole or in part, in the States of Kentucky, Ohio, and/or Tennessee from the requirements of this class deviation. In addition, contracting officers shall not enforce the deviation clause that is in a contract, task order, or delivery order that will be performed, in whole or in part, in the States of Kentucky, Ohio, and/or Tennessee.

We continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation, including speaking with the outside counsel who will present the latest updates to member firms in an online program on December 17. We will alert you to any changes as they occur.

Dan Hilton is ACEC Director of Procurement Advocacy & International Affairs.


All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


December 10, 2021



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