Plain Language Fact Sheet on President Biden's COVID-19 Action Plan

Sara Bovat, MSW and Liz Weintraub

November 2, 2021


pdf File Plain Language Fact Sheet on President Biden's COVID+10 Action Plan (320KB) [download]

The latest vaccine guidance continues to be released based on the most up-to-date information. President Biden's COVID-19 Action Plan has been updated with the latest vaccine, testing, and mask rules.

Below, we answer frequently asked questions about President Biden's COVID-19 Action Plan:

Q1. What if I haven't been able to get a COVID-19 shot yet, choose not to get the shot, or can't get the shot? Will I lose my job?

If you are able to get a shot, you should get one as soon as you can. The shot will help you make sure you keep your job, while also keeping you and your coworkers safe.

  • The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has a Disability Information and Assistance Line (DIAL), which is a hotline to help people with disabilities get connected to COVID-19 shots and community resources. Learn more at, or contact the line by phone at 888-677-1199 or email at [email protected].

If you choose not to get the shot, but are able to, you may be at risk of losing your job if your job creates a vaccine requirement to keep their employees safe.

If you cannot get the shot because of a disability, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects your right to a reasonable accommodation that may allow you to keep your job, while protecting your coworkers. A reasonable accommodation is a change in your workplace or how you do your job, so that you can keep doing your job, while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

  • If you can't get a shot because of your disability, a reasonable accommodation may be getting tested daily or working from your home or a different place.

Q2. Does this mean the professionals, including direct care professionals, teachers, etc.) who support me need to already have the COVID-19 shot?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has a requirement that staff in long-term facilities (e.g. a nursing home or group home) need to have the COVID-19 shot.

  • CMS is also working to create an additional COVID-19 shot requirement for most health care workers, and other staff and volunteers who do not provide direct care.

The Biden administration is working to make sure that states create COVID-19 shot requirements for teachers and school staff.

Right now, only nine states and Washington, D.C. have COVID-19 shot requirements for teachers and staff in schools from kindergarten through high school. These nine states include California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington. This means if you or your child go to school in these states, your teacher or school staff needs to have the shot.

Professionals who may support you in other jobs may not need to have the shot at this time. However, you do have the right to ask if they have had the COVID-19 shot.

Q3. Does this mean I can ask only for professionals who have had the COVID-19 shot to support me?

Organizations are allowed to ask employees, customers, or other people that you work with if they have had the COVID-19 shot without going against the rule that protects your health privacy, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Q4. Why is it okay to get tested instead of getting the COVID-19 shot?
If you cannot get a COVID-19 shot because of a disability, a reasonable accommodation may include getting tested daily instead of getting the shot.

  • There are other possible, reasonable accommodations, too. In considering a possible accommodation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommends looking at the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) website for types of accommodations, JAN's materials specific to COVID-19 are at


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a changing event. Experts are still studying and learning about COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information, please check the CDC website: