On Dec. 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 vaccine. Millions of Americans are expected to be vaccinated in the coming weeks. With distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine underway, employers should consider whether they will require their employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Mandatory vaccination is not a novel concept. In New York, for example, there are immunization requirements for students entering and attending school, and for health care personnel working in certain health care and residential facilities and agencies. Notably, last month the New York State Bar Association passed a resolution asking the state to consider implementing a state-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and, on Dec. 4, 2020, a bill was introduced in the New York State Legislature to permit the Department of Health to generally make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory. (It is unlikely, in our view, that there will be any federal legislation requiring vaccination.)

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