Source: Eyepix/WENN / WENN
The Department of Justice has now made it clear that there’s nothing wrong with private businesses and public agencies requiring that employees get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to continue to work. The DOJ announced that it is okay if a business requires workers to get the vaccine under emergency use authorization by section 564 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
“In light of these developments, you have asked whether the ‘option to accept or refuse’ condition in section 564 prohibits entities from imposing such vaccination requirements while the only available vaccines for COVID-19 remain subject to EUAs,” read the announcement. “We conclude, consistent with FDA’s interpretation, that it does not. This language in section 564 specifies only that certain information be provided to potential vaccine recipients and does not prohibit entities from imposing vaccination requirements.”
If an employee has a disability or religious belief that interferes with them getting the vaccination, reasonable accommodations can be made under federal law as well. Employees will have eight weeks from being notified to get the vaccine.
The DOJ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also released a statement regarding the “long-haulers,” or those who still experience symptoms after no longer being diagnosed with COVID-19, being considered as people with disabilities under the American Disabilities Act.
“Some individuals recover quickly from COVID, but others experience debilitating long-term impairments that substantially limit major life activities,” Acting Director Robinsue Frohboese of HHS’s Office of Civil Rights said. “Today’s guidance makes clear that these individuals are entitled to equal opportunities and full participation in all aspects of life.
This announcement comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads at a high rate throughout the U.S and the Black community hasn’t been getting vaccinated enough.
“Unfortunately, the Black community is lagging behind in COVID vaccination and as a result, is experiencing higher rates of infection and hospitalization,” Dr. Elaine Batchlor, the president of Martin Luther King Community Healthcare told The Grio. “Let’s not allow this terrible disease to decimate our community again.”