FedSmith Readers Oppose a Vaccine Requirement

We asked our readers recently what you think of vaccine requirements for federal employees. Here is what you told us.

We asked our readers in a recent survey what they thought about a vaccine requirement for all federal employees. The results were quite clear: they are against it.

We first posted the survey when it was announced that President Biden was considering a vaccination requirement for federal workers. Since then, he made his announcement. While it is not technically a vaccine requirement, it puts the burden of a series of new requirements onto those federal employees who choose not to get vaccinated or share their status in order to continue coming into federal offices. The president also made it very clear in his delivered remarks he wants people to get the vaccine.

Whether or not the federal government will step up its vaccination efforts to an outright vaccine mandate for its employees is unknown at this time. We can safely conclude our readers would not like it if that were to happen though.

Survey Results

A summary of each question and the results are included below.

Should all federal employees be required to get fully vaccinated against COVID as a condition of their employment?

  • No: 60%
  • Yes: 40%

Do you think the federal government has the legal authority to issue a vaccination requirement for the federal workforce?

  • No: 55%
  • Yes: 45%

Do you plan to get the vaccine if it becomes a new job requirement?

  • I already got it: 57%
  • No: 37%
  • Yes: 6%

Do you plan to remain in your job as a federal employee if you are required to get a vaccination?

  • Yes: 65%
  • Undecided: 20%
  • No: 15%

Does a vaccine mandate make you feel safer about returning to in-person work in agency offices?

  • No: 58%
  • Yes: 42%


With over 2,400 responses, the results are telling. Many federal employees have already gotten the vaccine, but they obviously do not want anybody else telling them they have to get it to keep their jobs. 35% of respondents saying they would either leave the federal workforce or haven’t decided if they would remain working in their positions is a pretty strong statement.

Respondents also said a vaccine requirement wouldn’t make them feel any safer. This is from the same group of readers who, when asked in recent past surveys, said they do not feel safe returning to work in their offices.

It is widely expected that there will be legal challenges to the increasingly stringent vaccine requirements that are starting to come down the pipeline. Federal employee unions are currently weighing their options in light of the recently announced COVID measures for the federal workforce. FedSmith author Ralph Smith predicted that with so many parties involved in what is a complicated political situation, the most likely outcome is that more and more federal employees will just telework. If everybody just stays at home, more of the interested parties get more of what they want and there are fewer regulatory hassles.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.