WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is lifting requirements that employers report adverse COVID vaccine reactions among workers who get shots.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is telling employers they do not have to report side effects suffered by workers from COVID-19 vaccinations.

The guidance comes as some employers as well as universities and events venues require COVID vaccines among employers, job applicants, students and customers.

OSHA said it was lifting the adverse vaccine reporting requirements so they would not discourage coronavirus vaccine efforts.

“DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward,” the agency said in its updated guidance.

Previously, employers were required to report adverse vaccine side effects among workers and from workplace vaccination events. Those requirements have been lifted by OSHA.

The Maryland Department of Health reported on Wednesday, June 2, that 70.3% of state residents have had at least one COVID vaccine shot and that 56.5% have been fully vaccinated.

But vaccine hesitancy and opposition exists among some communities.

Federal guidance has opened the door to employers mandating COVID vaccines for workers. Universities, in particular, are aggressive in requiring students, staff and faculty to get vaccines in order to return to classes.

There are religious and medical accommodations as well as health privacy laws that can limit coronavirus vaccines as well as employers and managers mandating or asking about vaccination status.

Some employers have also been giving employees financial and time-off incentives to get COVID vaccine shots.

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