The roles of various players in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continue to evolve among government, public companies, and private entities. Employers, pharmaceutical and supply manufacturers, healthcare service providers, educators, advertisers, transportation and logistics providers, and many others are continuously evaluating the potential implications of vaccine distribution for their industries and organizations worldwide. Morgan Lewis breaks down what opportunities, regulatory considerations, and legal obstacles still lie ahead.
In our latest Fast Break session and on the heels of recent announcements from the Biden-Harris administration and the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) granting of full authorization for the Pfizer vaccine in August, we were joined by Dan Kadish, a Morgan Lewis labor and employment associate and one of the leaders of our Morgan Lewis COVID-19 vaccine task force, to discuss how these updates may impact employers in the healthcare industry.
The UK government has announced a new, simplified system for international travel. The current red, amber, and green traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world.
The Biden-Harris administration plans to lift travel restrictions on visitors from most European countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, and other countries that have been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Joseph Biden on September 9 announced his new Path Out of the Pandemic: President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan, which describes the president’s six-pronged strategy to fight the pandemic. This sweeping action plan relies heavily on employer vaccine mandates and testing programs, including mandatory vaccination for federal employees and contractors and vaccination or weekly tests for private employers with 100 or more employees.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced on September 6, 2021 that the New York State Department of Health designated COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the New York State Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act). Under the Act requirements, businesses must promptly review their worksite exposure prevention plans; activate the protective measures in the plan, including mandatory screening, social distancing, and masking; and provide employees with verbal and written notice of their exposure prevention plans.
As summer ends, many companies are hoping to resume business travel. To help interested parties plan for the next Asia-Pacific (APAC) trip, this LawFlash outlines current entry bans and quarantine requirements in popular APAC locations. These rules are subject to rapid change based on the global and local pandemic situation.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced a new policy under which all applicants for a green card must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of the green card application process, all individuals are required to undergo a medical exam by a civil surgeon. This surgeon will assess a full medical history, conduct a physical examination, ensure attainment of all required vaccinations, and screen for mental health, sexually transmitted diseases, and various other illnesses that have been determined to be adverse to the interests of the general public.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued Executive Order 225 (the Order) and related guidance on August 16 regarding the “Key to NYC” vaccination requirements for indoor entertainment/recreation, dining, and fitness settings. Under these requirements, individuals age 12 and older will be required to show proof that they have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine before being admitted to certain covered indoor facilities. The requirements took effect on August 17 but will not be enforced until September 13, 2021.
Retailers have regularly pivoted their business models over the past 18 months as changing guidance from world health organizations and national and local governments continue to change the rules of operation.
Partner Leni Battaglia and associate Dan Kadish drafted an article for Total Retail about New York’s Executive Order 225 and related guidance that requires proof of vaccination before being admitted to certain covered indoor facilities in the city.
Getting the Deal Through—Occupational Health & Safety provides an international analysis of workplace safety for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners, and business people.
Partner Daryl Landy spoke with HR Dive about the potential impact on employer vaccine mandates in the wake of full FDA approval of the Pfizer two-dose vaccine shots.
Partner Sharon Masling spoke with US News & World Report about employers offering COVID-19 testing as alternatives to vaccine mandates.
Partner Leni Battaglia and associates Daniel Kadish and Jonathan Weinberg drafted best practices for employers on how to comply with the recent New York City indoor vaccine mandate. While the vaccination verification requirements went into effect immediately on August 17, 2021, enforcement begins September 13. Covered businesses should act promptly to get their own policies and verification processes in place to avoid fines for violations.
Partner Sharon Masling spoke with the Washington Post about the trend of more companies mandating vaccines in the wake of the FDA fully approving the Pfizer vaccine. "Legally an employer was allowed to mandate a vaccine even when it was only authorized under the emergency use authorization," Sharon said. "I think there were some employers who were more hesitant to require employees to vaccinate themselves with a vaccine that had not received full approval. ... I think this will put those employers at ease."
Partner Sharon Masling, associates Alana Genderson and Dan Kadish, and senior attorney Pierce Blue authored a checklist of legal and practical issues for employers to consider when returning to the office, including vaccination policies.