The argument that natural immunity against COVID-19 is an alternative to vaccination is emerging as a potential legal challenge to federally mandated vaccination policies.
Vaccination is already required for certain workers and some college students. The federal government, despite steeper legal hurdles to imposing vaccination, has also invoked the U.S. Department of Labor to mandate inoculation for health care workers and is expected to roll out a larger policy effectively mandating vaccination for a majority of U.S. workers.
The stated goal behind mandatory vaccination policies is to protect against the spread of disease, meaning that the crux of any policy is immunity. The notion that a previous COVID-19 infection provides natural immunity that can be at least as good as vaccination in some people is something a judge would likely need to consider in a challenge to a mandatory policy, especially against a government actor.
“I think that a judge might reject a rule that's been issued by a body, like the U.S. Department of Labor or by a state, that has not been sufficiently thought through as it relates to the science,” Erik Eisenmann, a labor and employment attorney with Husch Blackwell, told Yahoo Finance.