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Can your employer require you to get the COVID-19 vaccine?


WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE 28 / WYOU 22 – EYEWITNESS NEWS) – As we continue the return to normalcy here in Pennsylvania many questions are arising about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and we’re nearing the end of the mask mandate in the Commonwealth.

But what does the law have to say about forcing people to get the COVID-19 vaccine or just letting it be a personal choice?

“Just like we respect every other belief in the world, I think we should respect people’s right to not get the vaccine,” said Maggie Farrell.

Farrell of Hanover Township said she volunteered to get vaccinated herself but doesn’t believe that decision should’ve been made for her.

“I do not think that employers should mandate it and I don’t think schools and colleges need to mandate it either because there are people that just don’t want to get that vaccine and they’re just taking that chance,” stated Farrell

The question remains, is it legal to require someone to prove they had the shot?

“Technically, employers can require you to get vaccinated ad show proof of vaccination,” said Simon Haeder.

Haeder is Penn State University Professor of Public Policy, he says the state’s political divide makes the issue particularly interesting here in the commonwealth.

“Pennsylvania is obviously in this interesting situation where it has a republican legislature who is more hesitant on COVID-related issues and COVID restrictions and a democratic governor who has been very forward on his public health measures going all the way back to the beginning of the pandemic,” stated Haeder.

Employers like the University of Pennsylvania Healthcare System are already requiring proof of the COVID-19 vaccine from its employees. Not to mention the University of Scranton requiring on-campus students to be vaccinated by August 27.

Haeder says for most places, getting the vaccine should be heavily incentivized. However, people like Farrell believe this isn’t a decision that should be made by the government.

“I don’t think that people should be mandated if it’s against their belief to get it,” said Farrell.

Regardless of whether you believe it should or shouldn’t be mandated, many employers and schools are already requiring proof of the COVID-19 vaccine, and in the eyes of the law, it’s perfectly legal.

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