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.