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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can safely remove masks and end social distancing in most indoor settings.1 Educational facilities and businesses are faced with whether and how to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, including requiring proof of vaccination. Mandatory vaccination has historically served as a tool to reach and sustain high immunization coverage and to prevent transmission in K-12 schools, colleges/universities, and health care facilities. Vaccine mandates could extend to workers and customers in businesses to ensure safer environments. This Viewpoint examines the epidemiologic, public health, and legal considerations for mandatory SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in each setting.
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Corresponding Author: Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown Law, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, McDonough 568, Washington, DC 20001 (email@example.com).
Published Online: June 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.9342
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Mr Gostin reported being the director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law. Dr Shaw reported serving on a Pfizer speakers’ bureau for meningococcal vaccine. Dr Salmon reported receiving research grants from Merck and Walgreens, and is a paid member of an advisory board for Janssen.
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