The legal challenges of the Banner Health vaccine mandate

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Banner Health, Arizona’s largest hospital network, will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID 19 by Nov. 1st as a condition of employment.

Professor James Hodge, from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, talked with us about the legal challenges to vaccine mandates in health care, other employment, or university settings.

We also go over legal exemptions, legal foundations for mandates, Supreme Court views on religious exemptions to mandates.

We talked about the legal parameters for vaccines (not just the COVID vaccines). He said they have used them throughout history in the United States. There is a difference between a mandate and a forcible vaccine situation.

Professor Hodge said the difference between forcing and the mandate. They are not forcing anyone, but it is pressuring. It is still your choice. The consequence is what is not your choice.

A lot of places across the country are creating mandates. He said they can set conditions. The NFL also may be setting conditions for their players in the near future.

We talked about FDA-approved, and FDA-authorized vaccines. He said the COVID vaccines have gone through so much scrutiny and a lot of screening to make sure it is safe.

He said the COVID vaccine is not FDA approved, but it is authorized, so you can still legally mandate the vaccine.

We also talked about the religious freedoms around vaccines. He said it is important to have respect for these religious interests. He also said the supreme court has never said that people have to provide a religious exemption for religion. He also explained that it may change.

He explained they will see court cases around the vaccine, and you can expect change when it comes to vaccine mandates.

James Hodge, Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and Director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University

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