Rolls-Royce rolls out COVID-19 vaccine mandate to comply with federal requirements for contractors – IndyStar

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Kelly Wilkinson, Indianapolis Star

Indianapolis-based engine maker Rolls-Royce is rolling out a timeline for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees, following a requirement that those working with the federal government be vaccinated, the company confirmed this week. 

“Rolls-Royce has followed government health orders regarding Covid-19 and we will continue to abide by applicable requirements and regulations, including the recently released federal guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force,” a company spokesperson said Wednesday. 

The task force guidelines issued last month specify that contractors, or companies that have contracts with the federal government, must require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, contractors may grant religious or medical exemptions. 

The Rolls-Royce timeline requires employees to be vaccinated or exempt by the end of November, according to a document shared with the IndyStar by a Rolls-Royce employee not authorized to speak to the media. 

Last month, longtime federal contractor Rolls-Royce won a $500 million contract to make engines for the Air Force. The deal could total $2.6 billion over the course of the contract if the federal government opted for other services from the company. 

Public health and economists alike see vaccinations as the key to pandemic and economic recovery, but huge swaths of Americans have refused to get vaccinations. Skepticism of the vaccine ranges from distrust of government to misinformation to uncertainty about its long-term effects.  

President Joe Biden, who sees business vaccination mandates as the key to boosting the nation’s vaccination rate, will require businesses with more than 100 workers to implement vaccine mandates or regularly test employees. 

In Indianapolis, Eli Lilly and Co., Roche Diagnostics and several hospitals have already issued vaccination mandates. With the federal requirements for federal contractors issued last month, Indiana companies doing business with the government now have to mandate vaccinations for employees. 

Contact IndyStar reporter Binghui Huang at 317-385-1595 or Follow her on Twitter @Binghuihuang