LANL to defend COVID-19 vaccine requirement in federal court

Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory said they are prepared to defend the lab’s requirement that its employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite multiple legal challenges since the mandate was announced in August and took effect Oct. 15. 

The requirement, which applied both to workers at the lab’s main location in Los Alamos and at its satellite location in Carlsbad, called for employees to receive both shots of a COVID-19 vaccine to retain employment with at the lab and with its primary operations contractor Triad National Security. 

Some religious or medical exemptions could be offered, officials said in announcing the requirement, addressed on a “case-by-case” basis. 

The lab’s mandate followed a similar order from President Joe Biden that all federal employees be vaccinated, recently setting a deadline of Nov. 22.