Can employers require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine when available?

Americans are on the brink of the first COVID-19 vaccine getting the green light. On December 10th, the FDA will review Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use. A week after that, it’s Moderna’s turn. The question across the country, though, is will and can employers require their employees to get the vaccine.

Posted: Dec 6, 2020 4:29 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Americans are on the brink of the first COVID-19 vaccine getting the green light. On December 10th, the FDA will review Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use. A week after that, it’s Moderna’s turn. The question across the country, though, is will and can employers require their employees to get the vaccine. News 10 spoke to business owners in both indiana and Illinois here in the Wabash Valley to get their thoughts.

The CDC and doctors across the country recommend the vaccine as your best chance at protection and society getting back to normal. Jeanette Huisinga owns two businesses in Casey, Illinois. She offered her thoughts on the vaccine.

“I, personally, am not crazy about being made to take it,” she said, “If people want to take it—people who are at risk who want that then, yes, I think that should be provided for them. However, I think it should be our choice.”

Top Guns owner in Terre Haute Steve Ellis agrees. He cites concerns with how new the vaccine is and the lack of information that comes with it.

“We will not require it simply because there’s not enough history on the vaccine for us to know what the ramifications and long term effects are on the body,” Ellis said, “I don’t feel it’s my place to tell someone else what they should or shouldn’t do with their life.”

Legally speaking, officials say employers can make the call to require or highly recommend that their employees get the vaccine. However, Americans are allowed to refuse the vaccine due to disability or religious reasons. Ellis says for his business, the safety protocols already in place are enough.

“Currently, we come to work everyday and we use precautions to try and stay safe,” Ellis concluded, “At the end of the day it’s going to be no different just because there’s a vaccine available. If they choose not to take it, I’m in no different of a position at that point than I am right now.”

Employers are also legally allowed to deny service or employment to anyone who isn’t COVID-19 vaccinated.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
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