What does the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine mean for vaccine mandates in New York? Cathryn Harris-Marchesi, employment attorney and partner at The Noble Law, explains the implications of this approval in today’s audio blog.
FDA Approval of Pfizer’S COVID-19 Vaccine
This past Monday, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, now named Comirnaty, became the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the FDA. The vaccine has been available to individuals 16 years or older under emergency use authorization (EUA) since December 11, 2020. Eligibility expanded to ages 12 through 15 on May 10, 2021.
Emergency use authorization is provided to medical products whose benefits outweigh potential side effects or risks during a public health emergency, making them available for public distribution prior to the completion of the FDA’s standard review process. Now that Comirnaty is FDA approved, individuals with reservations regarding the safety of the drug can approach vaccination with more confidence. This will encourage more employees to become vaccinated and more employers to require vaccination of their employees.
Vaccine Mandates in New York
Mandatory vaccines in the United States were commonplace prior to the onset of COVID-19, according to Cathryn, and this approval will assist COVID-19 vaccines in joining that category, particularly in New York. The state court system has already implemented a vaccine mandate across all court employees, and New York City schools are requiring COVID-19 vaccination of all staff members. Individuals who hold a legitimate religious belief or have a disability that prevents them from being vaccinated may be provided reasonable accommodation where possible; however, in lieu of vaccination, these individuals will be expected to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and to wear appropriate protective gear in the workplace.
Are You Experiencing a Workplace Dispute?
If you experiencing unlawful treatment in the workplace, consider reaching out to our team at The Noble Law. Our employment attorneys are committed to promoting safety in the workplace for employees in New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Contact The Noble Law today to schedule a consultation and discuss your rights.