Rutgers Requires All Employees Be Vaccinated to Comply With Federal Order  

Employee receiving COVID-19 vaccine.
Rutgers custodian Luis A. Torres received a COVID-19 vaccination at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy vaccination clinic in May from Fatimah Mossad (PHARM '21) and supervised by Donna M. Feudo, assistant dean of experiential education at the pharmacy school.
Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

New requirement affects 10 percent of university employees

All Rutgers University faculty and staff must be vaccinated by Dec. 8 for the university to comply with an executive order signed by President Joe Biden, Antonio Calcado, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a message to university employees.

Biden signed Executive Order 14042 on Sept. 9 requiring that employees of entities with federal contracts be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Guidance from the Federal Worker Safety Task Force affirmed that the order applies to Rutgers.

“It is clear that Rutgers University and its employees, like research universities across the nation, are covered by the executive order and thus all Rutgers employees must be fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” Calcado said.

The executive order, which supersedes all state and local rules, regulations, laws or executive orders, provides for exemptions from vaccination for medical and religious reasons. However, employees will no longer be permitted to opt for regularly testing instead of vaccination.

For the 90 percent of Rutgers employees who have already uploaded their vaccine records, no further action is required.

Employees who have not yet been vaccinated need to take the following action:

  • If already vaccinated, upload proof of vaccination to the Rutgers portal.
  • If not vaccinated, get vaccinated immediately. To meet the Dec. 8 deadline, employees choosing to receive the Moderna vaccine must get a first inoculation by Oct. 27; by Nov. 3 for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine; and by Nov. 24 for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • If seeking a medical or religious exemption, do so immediately, but no later than Nov. 8, 2021.  Further information can be found at

The federal executive order does not at this time require employees to receive or report a COVID-19 booster shot.

For those without approved waivers, failure to provide proof of full vaccination – which requires a two-week period following final inoculation – will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Rutgers and other universities are required to comply with the executive order because the university is both a federal contractor and, in many instances, a federal subcontractor. “We hold hundreds of direct federal contracts and are involved through many relationships in countless subcontracting agreements,” Calcado said.

Rutgers offers free COVID-19 vaccines to eligible individuals at clinics in Camden, Newark and Piscataway. No insurance card is required and walk-ins are accepted. Find more info on scheduling here.

Vaccines also are available at most health care providers, clinics and local pharmacies.

Rutgers was the first university in the nation to require the COVID-19 vaccination for students. The university also required 8,700 health care and public safety personnel to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, while strongly encouraging all faculty and staff to be vaccinated – efforts resulting in the university’s high vaccination rates.

“We encourage employees to take action as needed as quickly as possible to comply with the order as we continue to work together to keep the Rutgers community healthy and safe,” Calcado said.