COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccines

On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14043 Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service.

As a DHS federal employee, you must be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021, unless you have received or have requested an exemption for religious or medical reasons. All DHS federal employees, including those who seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement for religious or medical reasons, must provide their vaccination status, upload proof of vaccination and certify the truthfulness of your vaccination status and proof.

Read “Path out of the Pandemic” for more information on President Biden’s COVID-19 action plan.

If you have specific questions regarding your personal health conditions and the vaccine, we ask that you speak with your personal healthcare provider for more guidance.

Mandatory Vaccine Deadlines

To be considered “fully vaccinated” an employee must have their second Moderna or Pfizer vaccination, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination, 14-days prior to Nov. 22, 2021. The below table provides the "no later than" dates federal employees must receive their vaccinations in order to meet the mandated deadline. The timing between your first and second shots depends on which vaccine you received.

  • Johnson & Johnson: One Shot
  • Pfizer: 3 weeks (or 21 days)
  • Moderna: 4 weeks (or 28 days)


 Johnson & JohnsonModernaPfizer-BioNTech
First ShotNov. 8, 2021Oct. 11, 2021Oct. 18, 2021
Second Shotn/aNov. 8, 2021Nov. 8, 201
Fully VaccinatedNov. 22, 2021Nov. 22, 2021Nov. 22, 2021


If You Are Fully Vaccinated

If You Are Not Vaccinated and Would Like More Information

Information about Breakthrough Cases

What are breakthrough cases?

Breakthrough cases are when individuals, who are fully vaccinated with the recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine and are 14 days past their last dose, contract COVID-19.

How common are breakthrough COVID-19 cases?

No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. As of August 2021, only 7,525 out of more than 164 million vaccinated citizens have experienced a breakthrough case.

Does the strength of the Delta variant make a breakthrough case more likely?

The Delta variant does have a greater potential to infect people, but the people at greatest risk are those who are not vaccinated.

If you are vaccinated and get COVID-19, how likely are you to experience severe symptoms?

Breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization and death are rare. Most individuals who experience a breakthrough case have minor symptoms.

Are some people more likely than others to get infected after being fully vaccinated?

While data doesn’t show a more “susceptible” group, those who have chronic illness or are immunocompromised maybe more vulnerable.

What preventative measures can I take to reduce my chance of getting COVID-19?

Get vaccinated. Wear a mask. Follow the CDC and your state/local government guidelines.

Vaccine Myths and Facts

Myth: I don’t need the vaccine because I’ve already had COVID-19.

  • Fact: Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Myth: Coronavirus vaccines were developed too fast to be safe.

  • Fact: Coronavirus vaccines are safe. The vaccines that are being deployed have undergone strict and rigorous clinical trials.

Myth: I can’t get COVID-19 if I’m vaccinated.

  • Fact: Infections do happen in only a small proportion of people who are fulling vaccinated, event with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.

Myth: Coronavirus vaccines alter DNA.

  • Fact: COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. mRNA instructs out cells how to make a protein the triggers an immune response.

Myth: I can get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

  • Fact: None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Myth: If I’ve been vaccinated, I don’t need to wear a mask.

  • Fact: To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to other, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

For more information on myths and fact, visit the CDC's More Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines page.

DHS Vaccine Awareness Campaign

Protect Your Bubble

A “bubble” is an unofficial term used to describe individuals outside your immediate household with whom you feel comfortable spending time with during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Being a part of a “bubble” can potentially limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission because “bubble” participants are upfront about following guidelines and adhering to those prevention measures over time.

View the Protect Your Bubble myth and fact flyer.

Additional Resources

Visit CDC’s COVID-19 vaccines website to view additional resources.

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