New federal requirements on Covid vaccination (for Lincoln Laboratory)

October 28, 2021


  • As a federal contractor, Lincoln Laboratory is subject to a new requirement that its employees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 8.
  • This change will not impact anyone at Lincoln Laboratory who is fully vaccinated and who has already uploaded proof of vaccination, or those with an existing medical exemption.
  • Because of this federal change, Lincoln Laboratory can no longer offer an exemption from vaccination for employees or contingent workers who work remotely, unless they work entirely outside of the US.
  • Employees and contingent workers in the US with a remote exemption must be fully vaccinated, or receive a medical or religious exemption, by December 8.
  • Employees, contingent workers, and other Covid Pass users who have received a religious exemption from Lincoln Laboratory must complete a new exemption request form to provide additional information consistent with the new requirements.

Dear Colleagues,

The Biden administration recently issued an executive order and related guidance requiring that employees of federal contractors be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 8, with limited exceptions.

Although Lincoln Laboratory has already achieved a 96% vaccination rate, as a federal contractor, the Laboratory must comply with this new federal mandate. Therefore, Lincoln Laboratory will eliminate its remote-work exemption for US-based employees and contingent workers, and will also modify the religious exemption process for all Covid Pass users who received a religious exemption from the Laboratory.

Eliminating remote-work exemption; More documentation for religious exemption; December 8 deadline

Previously, Lincoln Laboratory allowed a category of vaccination exemption for employees and contingent workers who work fully remotely. However, this remote-work exemption is no longer permitted under the new federal requirements, except for employees who work entirely outside the United States.

This means that by December 8, all Lincoln Laboratory employees and contingent workers must:

Individuals who have a remote-work exemption and are working inside the US must either be fully vaccinated or request another type of exemption from this federal requirement. To request an exemption, they should complete the Vaccination Exemption Request Form by Friday, November 5. Those with an existing religious exemption from Lincoln Laboratory must also complete a new exemption form by this date. Exemption requests will be reviewed by MIT and Lincoln Laboratory Human Resources.

Those who do not comply with these new requirements by December 8 will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence, have their access restricted, and/or be subject to additional disciplinary action. At that time, they will be contacted individually about their status and options.

Guidance for obtaining your vaccination

The vaccination process must begin soon in order to meet the December 8 deadline for full vaccination. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their final vaccine. The timeline for full vaccination varies depending on vaccine manufacturer:

  • Moderna: First dose must be administered at least six weeks ahead, which is October 27, and second dose by November 24. (Individuals requiring additional time due to Moderna vaccine scheduling will be handled on a case-by-case basis.)
  • Pfizer: First dose must be administered at least five weeks ahead, which is November 3, and second dose by November 24.
  • Johnson & Johnson: Only one dose required, which must be administered by November 24.

Employees can locate a vaccine provider in Massachusetts on the Vaccine Finder website, and may use Sick-Covid19 time to receive and recover from vaccinations; more details can be found on the Pay Policies page on the HR website. Vaccine boosters are not currently required by the new federal mandate.

Please continue to visit the MIT Now site for additional Covid-related policies, including those relating to testing, masking, and social distancing. If you have questions, please contact


Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources

Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research

Kerry A. Harrison, Director of Human Resources, Lincoln Laboratory