Two COVID-19 vaccines have been submitted for approval to the Food and Drug Administration. While this is an important step towards bringing the pandemic under control, the vaccine’s efficacy is limited unless an overwhelming majority of the population is vaccinated. Current polling suggests that only a slim majority of people would choose to receive the vaccine. So, if large numbers of people are unwilling to receive the vaccine, what’s next? Can the government make vaccination mandatory? Established case law demonstrate that it’s legally feasible, but whether lawmakers choose to pursue such legislation is an entirely different question in the current political atmosphere.
On November 3rd, 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Johnson & Johnson, letting stand a decision which affirmed a $2.2 billion jury verdict against the consumer giant.
As a citizen, RDM member Dyanna Ballou wants an effective vaccine as quickly as possible. As a lawyer, she wonders what litigation will inevitably follow with claims that approvals were rushed or wrong.