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With FDA approval, more employers may mandate vaccination

Posted at 12:03 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 00:03:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With the Pfizer vaccine receiving full approval from the FDA for people 16 and up, some medical professionals believe more people will get vaccinated.

One poll states, close to 30% of people who are unvaccinated were waiting for this approval before receiving the vaccine.

“Hopefully this will give people an assurance that the data has been looked at as rigorously as possible, as rigorously as any other vaccine in fact,” said Nancy Nielsen, MD, PhD with the Jacob’s School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo.

While the FDA approval will make some more comfortable to get vaccinated, legal experts believe it will make businesses more comfortable mandating COVID-19 vaccines.

“I think a lot of employers are going to feel more emboldened or more secure in mandating that employees be vaccinated,” said James Grasso a partner with Phillips Lytle’s Labor and Employment Group.

One decision for a company to make considering mandates is whether to offer testing as an alternative. That cost could be covered by the employer, and that could make it more costly to keep unvaccinated employees on the payroll.

“Any employer that's deciding about the option of testing or mandated vaccine,” said Grasso. “The potential for that added cost associated with testing may push them into the vaccine decision.”

Employers have the legal right to mandate vaccinations. The only exceptions are for medical and religious reasons.