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COVID-19 mandates wade into uncertain legal territory

July 29, 2021

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Public and private employers seeking to mandate the COVID-19 vaccines are bolstered by a Department of Justice opinion and high-profile victory in Texas, but their chances in court remain iffy for one big reason: The shots have not been fully approved.

The Food and Drug Administration said a trio of COVID-19 vaccines could be used in the U.S. on an emergency basis, meaning the benefits outweigh potential risks during the crisis.

Regulators are working to grant the drugmakers full biologics licenses, but that process could stretch into the fall. Meanwhile, employers deciding whether to condition jobs on vaccinations are left in a muddled middle.

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