Yes, Employer Can Require Covid Vaccine

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Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

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Apparently per the EEOC's guidelines employers (not just healthcare related) can mandate vaccination of workers. The exception is a "sincerely held religious belief" or a covered disability. Just found out this morning that a chain of for profit LTC/SNF's are rolling out a Covid vaccine mandate for all direct care staff or face indefinite unpaid administrative leave. I am a heavy supporter of vaccination and of the new COVID vaccine and in fact am due to get one in early January. But I am doing so of my own volition. My facility encouraged all workers to sign up for a vaccine and provided information sessions and it's been really effective at getting people to sign up. 

Even though I would disagree with someone's choice to not vaccinate, I don't believe they should be mandated at this point.

Yes, your employer can require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the EEOC says

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

I thought that it could not currently be mandated because of the Emergency Use Authorization.  My understanding was that it couldn't be mandated until it was no longer under EUA.  I might be wrong, but that was my understanding, because technically it is still 'experimental'.

Megan

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

That's what I thought as well. However the EEOC ruled a couple days ago that the law was on the side of the employers in mandating the vaccine.

I am not sure what the controversy is. I can't remember what my job requires, but pretty sure it requires some vaccinations.  

Seems well within the rights of a healthcare facility to require vaccines to safeguard patients.  And, it well within the rights of a nurse to look for an employer that doesn't require a vaccination.

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

On 12/25/2020 at 12:38 PM, hherrn said:

I am not sure what the controversy is. I can't remember what my job requires, but pretty sure it requires some vaccinations.  

Seems well within the rights of a healthcare facility to require vaccines to safeguard patients.  And, it well within the rights of a nurse to look for an employer that doesn't require a vaccination.

I hear what you're saying and see your point. My concern is that even though more than likely serious side effects are going to be rare or non-existent with the vaccine the truth is we don't know because we haven't had long enough to study it due to the urgency of the pandemic. With only having emergency authorization through the FDA I think it's a valid concern for someone not to want to be mandated to take it in order to remain employed at this point in time. I feel that in many ways we are taking a leap of faith that Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zenenca and other big pharma companies are acting in good faith when developing these vaccines and doing their clinical trials, and I can understand why people would be hesitant to trust these big companies due to scandals with big pharma in the past.

Now that being said, if after widespread voluntary inoculations do not help to curb the intensity of the pandemic then I think it would be more reasonable to entertain the idea of mandation for healthcare workers.

On 12/25/2020 at 2:19 PM, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

I hear what you're saying and see your point. My concern is that even though more than likely serious side effects are going to be rare or non-existent with the vaccine the truth is we don't know because we haven't had long enough to study it due to the urgency of the pandemic. With only having emergency authorization through the FDA I think it's a valid concern for someone not to want to be mandated to take it in order to remain employed at this point in time. I feel that in many ways we are taking a leap of faith that Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zenenca and other big pharma companies are acting in good faith when developing these vaccines and doing their clinical trials, and I can understand why people would be hesitant to trust these big companies due to scandals with big pharma in the past.

Now that being said, if after widespread voluntary inoculations do not help to curb the intensity of the pandemic then I think it would be more reasonable to entertain the idea of mandation for healthcare workers.

We are living in strange times.

Overwhelmingly, professionals knowledgeable and trained in how vaccines work, and how this vaccine was developed, trust that it is safe.  These are not simple minded or gullible people.  
But, if a nurse doesn't trust it, he or she will need to find a facility that does not require it. 

Who knows- maybe that will be a recruitment point for facilities- not requiring the vaccine.  Though I do wonder who would put a family member in one if they had any choice.

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

On 12/25/2020 at 3:52 PM, hherrn said:

We are living in strange times.

Overwhelmingly, professionals knowledgeable and trained in how vaccines work, and how this vaccine was developed, trust that it is safe.  These are not simple minded or gullible people.  

But, if a nurse doesn't trust it, he or she will need to find a facility that does not require it. 

Who knows- maybe that will be a recruitment point for facilities- not requiring the vaccine.  Though I do wonder who would put a family member in one if they had any choice.

I respect the fact that people a lot smarter than me have reviewed the information about the clinical trials provided by these companies and deemed the vaccine safe, which is exactly why I plan on taking it. I realize it's a pandemic and times are indeed strange. Mandation just bothers me because it's another peck at what little autonomy we have as professionals, err excuse me, I mean drones.

There is so much ridiculous crap I am mandated to do as a condition of my employment.  If, at any point, one of those mandates becomes overly egregious, I will look elsewhere for work. As it happens, this vaccine not required, though it wouldn't bother me if it was.  For actual care providers.  

I would not support it being mandated for non-care providers in a hospital, or anywhere else for that matter.  

The difference is, as an employee, I can choose where I work.  Our patients don't have that luxury.  They are vulnerable, and trust the facility to look out for their best interests.

I could see this vaccine requirement being a deal breaker for some staff, and I would respect their decision to leave.

Curious-

How do you feel about NICU nurses being required to get MMR vaccines?  

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

On 12/26/2020 at 5:21 AM, hherrn said:

How do you feel about NICU nurses being required to get MMR vaccines?  

As hypocritical as this is going to sound, I agree with that. Even though that vaccine carries risk with it, due to how vulnerable the patient population is in the NICU I can see the reason for mandation. That being said we have a lot more information on the MMR that to me invokes a higher level of trust.

Hmm.. I don't know, maybe I'm just ornery or a hypocrite. 

On 12/25/2020 at 11:19 AM, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

I hear what you're saying and see your point. My concern is that even though more than likely serious side effects are going to be rare or non-existent with the vaccine the truth is we don't know because we haven't had long enough to study it due to the urgency of the pandemic. With only having emergency authorization through the FDA I think it's a valid concern for someone not to want to be mandated to take it in order to remain employed at this point in time. I feel that in many ways we are taking a leap of faith that Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zenenca and other big pharma companies are acting in good faith when developing these vaccines and doing their clinical trials, and I can understand why people would be hesitant to trust these big companies due to scandals with big pharma in the past.

Now that being said, if after widespread voluntary inoculations do not help to curb the intensity of the pandemic then I think it would be more reasonable to entertain the idea of mandation for healthcare workers.

Google: Pfizer criminal record. 


I would never bank on a company’s good intentions when 💵 is involved. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

I expect mine will sooner or later. I am beating them to the punch and will received the vaccine on NYE. I am off the next day, but from all the people I know,  personally,  who got this already, I don't expect a lot of ill effects.  I am doing this for others as well as myself.

We work with a very vulnerable population in dialysis, so like I said, sooner or later, it will be required. I don't want to wait.

myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 13 years experience.

One difference is that it is my understanding that with traditional vaccines should you have a bad reaction you can get compensation from the Congressional compensation fund (that relieves pharmacy companies from liability). However, with the emergency use requirement this is not an option. They do provide (you say) a religious belief exception. This was not an option with my hospital and the influenza vaccine, no exceptions except for specific allergic reactions to the vaccine.  Thus, my "go to" would be that exception.