Employers Can Require Workers to Get Covid-19 Vaccine, U.S. Says


Even so, employers may need to be careful about how they handle the process.

Prescreening vaccination questions could violate an A.D.A. provision on disability-related inquiries. Employers administering vaccines, the guidance said, must show that prescreening questions are “job related and consistent with business necessity.”

The guidance comes amid skepticism about the vaccinations among large swaths of the public. A recent poll of about 2,000 New York City firefighters found that nearly 55 percent said they would not get a vaccine if offered one by their department, according to CNN.

Only 42 percent of Black Americans say they intend to be vaccinated, according to a Pew Research poll. And 58 percent of Americans over all indicated they would get a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a Gallup Panel survey from November.

Distrust in vaccinations is also being fanned by political commentators and groups.

On his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson this week highlighted the stories of a small number of Americans who have had adverse reactions to Pfizer’s vaccine. And experts who study extremism have warned that groups that have protested election results and Covid-19 lockdowns across the United States are now turning their attention to the anti-vaccine movement.

The rollout of a vaccine and urgent logistical questions about its distribution signal that the end of the pandemic is in sight, but the virus is also deadlier than it has ever been, with the United States reporting more than 3,000 deaths in a day for the first time this month.

As federal and state governments prepare for large-scale vaccination efforts, the Trump administration’s messaging on the pandemic remains muddled.

Vice President Mike Pence just days ago hosted a holiday party at his residence, where guests posed for pictures without masks, according to attendees. But on Friday morning, Mr. Pence received his first vaccine shot on live television. He was joined by his wife, Karen Pence, and Jerome Adams, the surgeon general.