The New Employee Status: Vaccinated or Unvaccinated

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
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With the highly transmissible Delta variant surging, and vaccination rates stagnating, employers are facing new pressures to reinstate mask mandates for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, and encourage COVID-19 vaccines through workplace mandates. On August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in those age 16 and older. This upgrade to full approval from “emergency use” status is predicted to lead to a rise in vaccine requirements from employers, schools, and local governments. Health officials are also hopeful that the approval will lead to higher vaccination rates. Note that the Pfizer vaccine is only one of three COVID-19 vaccines to receive full approval. At this writing, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines remain in emergency use status only.

Originally in the Employee Benefit Plan Review, November-December 2021.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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