In August 2021, various memes claimed to show a “list of employers not requiring their employees to get vaccinated” for COVID-19, including staff from the White House, CDC, FDA, WHO, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson (the last three are pharmaceutical companies that provide COVID vaccines to the public). The phrase “White House vaccination warrant” was in vogue on Google around the same time.

A reader sent this screenshot:

One of the many versions of the viral social media meme.

It is true that as of August 2021, these organizations did not require staff to be vaccinated against COVID. However, the guidelines changed over time as the Delta variant raged across the country. The vast majority of hospitalizations were in unvaccinated patients.

The White House, the CDC and the FDA

On July 29, 2021, the White House Biden announced a vaccination mandate. He said that “every federal government employee and contractor on site will be asked to attest to their vaccination status.” People who work in the White House, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are all federal employees.

In addition, “anyone who does not certify to be fully immunized will have to wear a mask at work, regardless of location, keep physically away from all other employees and visitors, comply with a requirement weekly or bi-weekly drug testing, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.

While these were the initial guidelines, the Biden administration then provided an update with an announcement on September 9. The Associated Press reported that the vaccines would be needed with no other option of regular testing. The AP also reported that “federal workers and contractors will have 75 days to get fully vaccinated” and anyone who does not comply “will be referred to their agency’s human resources department for advice and discipline, including a potential dismissal “. According to the New York Times, this did not include “those who work for Congress or the federal court system.”

We have contacted the White House to receive further updates since this announcement was made, and we will update this story if we receive a response.


We contacted the World Health Organization (WHO) to ask if it had a vaccination policy. In response, WHO spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris told us: “In accordance with the consensus opinion of United Nations medical directors, vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly encouraged but is currently not not compulsory for staff. “


Pfizer responded to our email with a statement describing the possibility of getting vaccinated or participating in “regular weekly COVID-19 tests.”

Pfizer demands that all its American colleagues and contractors get vaccinated as a working condition or participate in regular weekly COVID-19 testing. This is to best protect the health and safety of our colleagues and the communities we serve. Outside of the United States, the company strongly encourages all colleagues who can do so in their home country to get the vaccine. Colleagues who have health problems or religious objections may request accommodations. Colleagues are still required to follow all national, local, and Pfizer COVID-19 safety procedures when engaged in Pfizer’s work.


We have yet to hear from a Moderna spokesperson. However, also reported the meme to be viral and linked to the company’s website. In a statement, Moderna said the company “will require COVID-19 vaccination for all workers in the United States, effective October 1, 2021.”

Johnson & johnson

In an email response from Johnson & Johnson, the company shared this statement which bore similarities to Moderna’s decision to require all employees to be vaccinated by early October:

As a global healthcare leader, Johnson & Johnson remains committed to following the science and taking the right steps to support the health and well-being of our employees and contractors, as well as fulfilling our responsibilities to them. communities in which we live and work. . As COVID-19 continues to devastate families and cause untold hardship, data shows getting vaccinated is essential to help end the pandemic.

On August 16, the company announced that effective October 4, all Johnson & Johnson employees and contractors in the United States will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. People with health problems or other reasons for not getting vaccinated may request accommodation.

In summary, here’s what we found regarding the viral meme. Following a September 9 announcement by President Biden, White House staff, along with a majority of federal employees and contractors, will need to be vaccinated. Additionally, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have announced their intention to require their employees to be vaccinated by early October. However, as of September, workers at WHO and Pfizer were not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In light of these updates that have occurred over time, the score for this fact check has been updated from “True” to “Mixed”.