Vaccination form for federal workers adds penalties for lies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal employees who need to certify their vaccination status under a new policy instituted by President Joe Biden intended to encourage COVID-19 shots will face disciplinary action and potentially criminal prosecution if they lie on the form.

The Biden administration on Friday unveiled the attestation form that employees will need to fill out confirming whether they have been fully vaccinated against the virus, adding legal teeth to the president’s mandate. Federal employees won’t be following the honor system but will instead be required to acknowledge that making a “knowing and willful false statement on this form can be punished by fine or imprisonment or both.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the form which was distributed Friday to agency leadership and points of contact for COVID safety protocol implementation.

Under Biden’s policy, those who are not vaccinated or choose not to complete the form will will be subject to mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing requirements and will be ineligible for official travel in most cases.

The effort is part of the White House’s push to make it more difficult for eligible Americans to remain unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

With the exception of those seeking to “obtain a public service or benefit,” visitors to federal office-buildings, including the White House, will be required to fill out the form before visiting, according to the federal policy.