Biden-Harris Administration Drops COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for CMS Certified Facilities

May 5, 2023

On May 1, 2023, the White House announced that COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal employees, federal contractors, and international air travelers will end on May 11, the same day the federal public health emergency ends. In addition, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Homeland Security (DHS) announced they will begin the process of ending their vaccine requirements for Head Start educators, health care facilities certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and certain noncitizens at the United States’ land border. More information about ending the vaccine requirements will be released soon by each respective agency. 


The COVID-19 vaccine requirements that are now being repealed went into effect in 2021. These measures were taken to promote the health and safety of Americans and their workplaces and to help protect vulnerable populations. The Administration cite the reasons for moving into a different phase of response than what was needed when vaccine mandate was initially issued are because there has been a significant decline in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations in the U.S. and globally and 270 million Americans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, 

What Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Know

ASHA first reported on the Administration’s vaccine requirement for most providers who are reimbursed by Medicare/Medicaid in November 2021. It is important that audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are subject to the federal vaccine requirements consider several elements as they make plans for themselves, their staff, and their facilities.

  • The vaccine mandate for CMS certified facilities was achieved through the rulemaking process, and repealing or changing this rule will require the same process. It will likely take some time for these changes to go into effect. ASHA will share changes as they become available.
  • Not all facilities where audiology and speech-language pathology services are offered are CMS certified so these changes may not apply to those settings. Providers should check the CMS website to see if their facility is CMS certified.
  • Providers should check with their employer directly to see if other rules or regulations require vaccination as a condition of employment. There may also be state laws that require vaccination. 


Please contact ASHA’s health care and education policy team at  

ASHA Corporate Partners