Government contractors respond to new COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Mobile County

Doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine wait to be administered to the students and faculty of UTPB during a vaccination clinic held in partnership with Midland Memorial Hospital, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — President Biden announced new COVID-19 vaccine requirements Thursday, affecting millions of workers, including many in the Mobile area.

Under this new plan, the Labor Department is developing a rule that businesses with more than 100 employees require COVID-19 vaccines, or do weekly testing. This will affect 80 million private-sector workers.

There are at least 50 employers with more than 100 employees in the Mobile area, including Austal, Evonik, and the University of South Alabama and its medical facilities.

Among the other vaccine directives, all federal employees and contractors must be vaccinated. Austal is one of Mobile County’s biggest contractors with the government. We reached out for comment Thursday. Austal said they are deciding not to comment at this time.

Ingalls is another employer with government contracts – they released this statement:

“We have yet to see specific guidance requiring government contractors be vaccinated against COVID-19. We will work with our government customers as they develop their requirements, and employees can be assured that two priorities will guide our response to this new mandate – the safety and health of our employees, and meeting the mission to support our government customers.”

Huntington Ingalls Industries

You can see a breakdown of President Biden’s vaccine plan here.

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