The U.S. Department of Justice say that federal law does not prohibit private businesses and public agencies from requiring vaccination against COVID-19, per an option from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel.
While news of this determination from the DOJ first hit the cycle this week, featured in pieces from CNN and Politico mere hours after it was announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs would become the first fed agency to put in place a mandate for some workers, the opinion in question is dated July 6.
In it, the DOJ states that, “consistent with FDA’s interpretation,” vaccination requirements are not prohibited by the conditions of emergency use authorizations.
“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,” the opinion, available to read in full here, states.
Later, in the opinion’s closing moments, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel reiterated that it’s now been formally concluded that section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [FDCA]“does not prohibit public or private entities from imposing vaccination requirements, even when the only vaccines are those authorized under EUAs.”
Also on Monday, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by jointly issuing new guidance on how “long COVID” could be a disability under a section of the ADA.
“It’s critical that we ensure people who have disabilities as a result of long COVID are aware of their rights under federal nondiscrimination laws,” Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary Alison Barkoff for Aging at the Administration for Community Living at HHS said in a press release on Monday. “It also is crucial that they know how to connect to services and supports available if they now need assistance to live in their own homes, go to school or work, or participate in their communities.”
As previously reported, the state of California and the city of New York have already announced that certain workers will be required to get a vaccine and/or undergo testing.
The latest update to the CDC’s stats show that just 49 percent of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. If you’ve yet to secure yours, please swiftly remedy that. Seriously.