AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the world awaits the rollout of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine — which could be authorized for emergency use as soon as this week — many Americans still say they are skeptical about taking it when they can.
About 4 in 10 Americans (39%) say they would definitely or probably not get a coronavirus vaccine, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. While about half of this group said their minds could be changed once people start getting vaccinated, 21% of the other adult participants said more information would not change their mind.
But some U.S. employees may not get out of the vaccine simply because they have doubts.
Rogge Dunn, a Dallas labor and employment attorney, told CNBC many of his corporate clients are leaning toward making vaccines mandatory.
“Under the law, an employer can force an employee to get vaccinated, and if they don’t take it, fire them,” said Dunn.
Dunn says that some businesses, like one of his restaurant clients, think being able to say all of its employees have been vaccinated could be good for business.
“They think it gives them a competitive advantage,” Dunn said.
While this may be more about luring customers than employee safety, it’s nonetheless within an employer’s right to require it, he said.
There would be exceptions, however. These would include workers who don’t want to be vaccinated due to medical reasons — protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If religious beliefs would be violated by vaccination, it’s possible an employee could be covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Unionized workers may also be able to negotiate with employers.
The Pew survey also showed 71% of American adults think the worst of the outbreak is yet to come.