DOJ says it's legal to mandate COVID vaccines

DOJ says it's legal to mandate COVID vaccines

The Department of Justice on Monday published an opinion indicating that coronavirus vaccine mandates are legal despite only being approved for emergency use.

The judgment was brought to light as areas across the country have either mulled or implemented shot mandates in some capacity amid a surge in cases. The Food and Drug Administration's emergency use go-ahead "does not prohibit public or private entities from imposing vaccination requirements for vaccines that are subject to EUAs," the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel wrote. Citizens have a right to be "'informed' of certain information, including 'the option to accept or refuse administration of the product,'" though businesses, government, and other entities are not prohibited from requiring doses from Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson, all of which have received only emergency use authorizations, the DOJ added.

None of the shots have been given a set date for full FDA approval, though health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, are confident the vaccinations will be given the OK from the government body. However, both federal and local entities have opted not to wait for the FDA to mandate vaccinations.


On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to mandate COVID-19 inoculations for employees. Title 38 personnel, including physicians, dentists, registered nurses, and others, will have eight weeks to become fully vaccinated against the disease in compliance with the new policy.

"We're mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it's the best way to keep veterans safe, especially as the delta variant spreads across the country," VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement. "Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19. With this mandate, we can once again make — and keep — that fundamental promise."

Earlier on the same day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the boroughs would require all city workers to be vaccinated or subject themselves to weekly virus testing. Roughly 340,000 workers, teachers, and police officers will be under the requirement, which takes effect in September.

"September is the pivot point of the recovery," the Democratic mayor explained at a press conference on Monday. "And so, on Sept. 13, the first day of school, every single city employee will be expected to be either vaccinated or be tested weekly."


Also on Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that all government employees and healthcare workers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or face weekly screenings.

He said on Monday that the Golden State “will have the strongest state vaccine verification system in the U.S. We’re experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Everyone that can get vaccinated — should.”

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Tags: News, Coronavirus, Justice Department, Vaccination, FDA

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: DOJ says it's legal to mandate COVID vaccines