"Yes, and yes," he said.
"By the way, I waited until July to talk about mandating because I tried everything else possible. Mandates are working."
Biden went to Baltimore for the town hall. He gave his broadest update yet on discussions to break the deadlock on his enormous social spending plans.
His $3.4 trillion programs and a smaller infrastructure plan will probably diminish in light of differences between centrists and progressives.
In a headline-packed 90 minutes, he said he was cutting programs to pay for the spending with a corporate tax hike, that he was thinking of giving in the National Guard to ease supply chain problems, and would support Taiwan if it was attacked.
But he also maintained his position on vaccine mandates in firm terms.
The U.S. has lingered behind other wealthy nations in protecting people against COVID-19.
A series of mandates for federal workers and for companies with more than 100 staff triggered angry protests and reports of people being fired or resigning in protest.
"Two things that concern me," he said. "One, are those who just try to make this a political issue - freedom. 'I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID. Come on."
Then he examined what he called "misinformation" about the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell that centered on the fact he was fully vaccinated.
"Well he knew he had serious underlying conditions, and it would be difficult," said Biden.
"He clearly would have been gone earlier had he not gotten the vaccine."
At the start of the night, he was asked about his plans for a multi-trillion dollar social spending bill, which is currently deadlocked in Washington.
Biden offered the centrists a concession, backing away from a corporate tax increase to pay for his Build Back Better agenda.
Host Anderson Cooper urged him on whether he would launch a proposed increase in corporate take to help fund trillions of dollars in new spending.
"No, I don't think we're going to be able to get the votes," he said.
He had aspired to increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent for the biggest companies, prompting warnings that it could hamper growth and that the costs would be passed on to workers and consumers.