When can I get a coronavirus vaccine?

This picture taken on Nov. 17, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading "Vaccine Covid-19."

The first wave of COVID-19 vaccines are around the corner. Many are wondering if their employer can require them to get the vaccine.

The first wave of COVID-19 vaccines are around the corner.

Many are wondering if their employer can require them to get the vaccine.

“The answer is actually a little bit complicated. Ordinarily, the answer would be yes. Ordinarily, if there’s an approved vaccine, an employer could require you to get it. But there have to be certain exceptions,” said Lance Gable, professor of law at Wayne State University.

For example, if it’s against your religion or if you have a disability that could be affected by the vaccine.

Gable said an unprecedented factor is these vaccines had emergency approval.

“It’s unclear whether an emergency approval is gonna be treated the same way as a mandatory requirement. In the past, the CDC has said that emergency approved medications and vaccinations shouldn’t be made mandatory because there still might be some need to test further,” Gable said.

Another point to consider is if the vaccine is found to be a major factor in workplace health and safety.

“The federal law requires employers to provide safe and healthy work environments for every employee. Absolutely required under OSHA. That means in certain types of environments, they’re going to have to require employees to take the vaccine,” said Anastase Markou, attorney with Levine and Levine.

Markou said he expects the vaccine will be mandatory in the medical field and jobs with a lot of personal interaction, like the restaurant industry.

“It sounds like it’s just legal battles waiting to happen. It’s gonna have to be. This is really gonna push the limits of the law on what OSHA requires employers to do and it’s gonna push the law on what kinds of exceptions employees are allowed to use,” Markou said.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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