Justice Department lawyers have determined that federal law doesn’t prohibit public agencies and private businesses from requiring Covid-19 vaccines – even if the vaccines have only emergency use authorization, according to an opinion posted online Monday.
The opinion from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel paves the way for more federal agencies and businesses to require vaccinations.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Monday that it will require many of its front-line health care workers to be vaccinated against Covid. The VA is the first in the federal government to require shots among its workers.
Some colleges, both public and private, are requiring their students to get vaccinated before returning this fall. Governments – particularly the state of California and New York City – are also previewing plans to require vaccines for certain public workers.
So far, opponents of vaccine mandates haven’t had much luck in court when challenging the requirements.
In June, a federal judge sided with a Houston hospital when employees sued to block its Covid-19 vaccine requirement. A federal court also rejected this month a request by students that it block Indiana University’s vaccine requirement.