According to a CBS News poll, 4 in 10 Americans say they don’t want the vaccine or aren’t sure but can they be required to get it?

From employers to universities, to local governments and businesses, who can legally penalize you for not getting vaccinated?

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CBS13 investigative reporter Julie Watts is getting answers.

“I’m not an anti-vaxxer,” said new mom Amy.

Amy stresses she believes in science. Her son is up-to-date on his childhood vaccines and she and her husband are too…

But when it comes to the COVID vaccine, “I would categorize myself for this particular vaccine as vaccine, hesitant,” she said.

Amy says she’s waiting for long-term data and is among the 40% of Americans who say they either won’t get or aren’t ready to get the shot.

And like many, Amy has questions about vaccine mandates.

“I don’t think we’re far off from states mandating it. I do hope, though, that they at least wait till it’s FDA approved,” she said.


Many point out that the vaccine currently has emergency use authorization

Julie: can anyone mandate a vaccine before it is approved by the FDA?

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Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation: Some employers are doing it. Some universities are doing it. It may be tested in the courts.

But Jen Kates, director of global health at Kaiser Family Foundation says those rulings will provide short-lived answers as FDA approval is likely to come soon.

Jen: Then yes, in many cases you can be mandated to get a vaccination.

Then the question becomes who can mandate the vaccine?

Julie: Can the federal government mandate a vaccine? [00:04:25][1.9]

Jen: The answer is likely no.

She explains they’ll likely leave that up to states and private entities, as there’s a long history, and stronger precedent, for states, universities, and employers requiring vaccines.

Though, outside of healthcare settings employer-required vaccines, have been rare.


“I’ve never had to provide my vaccine information to any employer I’ve ever had,” said Amy.

Moving forward, employer mandates may vary by state.

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Coming up tonight on the  CBS13 at 10, labor attorneys weigh in on what your employer can and can’t require about vaccination. We’ll also look at what local businesses can require.