Is Penn State making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for employees or students?

Under the federal contractor vaccine mandate, all employees at all Penn State campuses are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical/disability- or religious-related accommodation. This mandate is currently under an injunction and will not be implemented by Penn State on Jan. 4, however the injunction could be lifted in the near future.

For Tech service employees the University and Teamsters Local Union 8 have bargained about the effects of any valid, enforceable vaccine mandate for federal contractors. As of now that federal mandate is on hold by the federal court thus not requiring any technical service employees to be vaccinated or tested. In the event that the federal contractor vaccine mandate is reinstated by the federal courts, the University and Teamsters will follow the terms of their agreement and will bargain about the effects of the federal contract vaccine mandate, including a new effective date of any vaccine mandate. The agreement includes terms that describe the addition of other campuses to the vaccinate mandate. Specifically, the University must notify the Union and bargain over the implementation of the vaccine mandate at additional commonwealth campuses.

Importantly, while the University is not currently requiring vaccinations for students, Penn State is not impartial when it comes to getting vaccinated. The University’s stance is that everyone who can get a vaccine should do so as soon as possible to attain high vaccination rates on all Penn State campuses.