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COVID 19 vaccine mandates; The questions and concerns from hospitals surrounding vaccine mandates or requiring weekly COVID testing and the associated legal and practical considerations
With the coronavirus still wreaking havoc on the nation’s health and economy, President Joe Biden has rolled out a plan that among other things, requires that imposes vaccine mandates on federal workers but also presses private businesses to mandate shots for employees. With this in mind, New Jersey has seen various soft and hard mandates with some employers such as hospitals requiring workers to get Covid-19 vaccines. This program will discuss the status in New Jersey with respect to vaccine mandates as well as the status from a federal perspective. The speakers of the panel will discuss what a hospital or a medical practice needs to know when handling employee requests in connection with a vaccine mandate such as a medical or religious exemptions or other requests that do not fit neatly into a recognized exemption and how to draft policies and procedures regarding this issue. In addition to the legal considerations with regards to implementing a vaccine mandate, our speakers will highlight recent litigation over vaccine requirements and what the arguments have been by those who have brought about such challenges. Attorneys will also want hospital or medical practice clients to consider economic and practical considerations such as the costs of administering vaccines on site or conducting required testing on site (who has to bear the cost of the test versus do workers have to be paid for screening time while getting tested) as well as hospital board concerns, public/society responses to requiring absolute or soft vaccine mandate versus required testing, and potential disruptions to the operations of the hospital or medical practice due to medical staff reaction.