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Vaccination Update – Quick Action after FDA Approval of Pfizer

Vaccination Update – Quick Action after FDA Approval of Pfizer

Aug. 26, 2021
Reaction has gone from more mandates to insurance surcharges for not getting vaccinated.

Almost as soon as the FDA announced on August 23 that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, it seemed as though the entire country sprung into action.

It only took a few hours for the Pentagon to announce that they would enforce vaccine mandates as they had just been waiting for FDA approval.

Retailer CVS announced a mandate for their employees.

Oil giant Chevron said employees, and expatriate employees will now have to be vaccinated.

Goldman Sachs followed suit and said that not only employees, but clients and anyone who enters its U.S bank offices have to be fully vaccinated if they want to conduct business with the bank.

The list of schools and universities requiring vaccines is long but includes the State University of New York, The Ohio State University, University of Louisiana, University of Minnesota and many others. In fact, according to USA Today (on August 24), 750 colleges now require vaccinations. 

Even Disney World’s 30,000 unionized workers must be vaccinated.

As these announcements continued to flow, President Biden made his opinion clear. “If you're a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do it, require it. Do what I did last month, require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements." 

One company went even further, Delta Airlines will charge $200 monthly surcharges for employees who are on their company-paid insurance plans if they do not get vaccinated. 

The concept of charging those who decide not to get vaccinated is supported by a study from New Eagle Hill Consulting that found 41% of employees support higher insurance rates for unvaccinated workers (The study was conducted August 8-11, 2021 and included 1010 employees.) 

With the full-backing of the FDA, employers now have strong backing to mandate vaccinations — if they have been unsure of what to do. According to an article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the legal aspect of mandates was of concern:

Now that the Pfizer vaccine has gained full FDA approval, employers may be more likely to go forward with these policies, said Zach Siegel, an attorney with Hogan Lovells in Philadelphia.

Employment law attorneys generally have said that private employers can require at-will employees to get a vaccine authorized for emergency use. But the full authorization does mitigate concerns from some people who thought there hadn't been enough research into the vaccines, observed Krista Mitzel, an attorney with The Mitzel Group in San Francisco. "Many employers are still struggling to find ways of keeping businesses open and their workers safe," she said, "and this FDA approval provides a way to more confidently move toward going back to normal."

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