federal judge Issue a preliminary injunction Tuesday to halt the start of President Biden’s national authorization of a vaccine for health care workers, which was due to begin next week.
The injunction, written by Judge Terry Doughty, effectively extends a separate order issued by a Missouri federal court on Monday. The previous law had only advanced to 10 states that joined a lawsuit against the president’s decision to require all health workers in hospitals and nursing homes to receive at least the first vaccine by December 6 and fully vaccinate by January 4.
“There is no doubt that giving a vaccine to 10.3 million health care workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency,” Judge Doughty of the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana wrote. He added: “It is not clear that even a congressional law ordering a vaccine would be constitutional.”
He added that the plaintiffs also had an “interest in protecting its citizens from being required to undergo vaccinations” and preventing job losses and tax revenue that might result from the mandate.
Many cities and states had already imposed their own vaccine mandates for health care workers, in an effort to contain outbreaks that often traveled from communities to medical settings such as nursing homes. Vaccine mandates gained momentum over the summer as the Delta variant swept through nursing homes, causing spikes in infections for staff and residents, as well as flooding hospitals in many states with another surge of Covid.
Some large hospital chains and many large nursing home operators have also started Staff vaccinations are required, before the president starts calling for nationwide compliance. The number of vaccinations among healthcare staff has increased since the summer, although cases among residents and staff remain in the thousands reported each week. Nationally, immunization rates among nursing home workers are above 74 percent, although much lower rates persist in some areas.
in the leadership of 14 state suit Against the mandate, Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana said the federal mandate would screw holes in state budgets and exacerbate shortages in health care facilities.
The Biden administration has tied compliance with the vaccine mandate to federal funding, requiring the immunization of millions of workers in hospitals, nursing homes or other health facilities that rely heavily on Medicare or Medicaid programs. But many health care providers — especially operators of rural nursing homes and hospitals — have complained that employees who were reluctant to vaccinate are leaving, exacerbating the staff shortages that plagued the industry long before the pandemic.
These complaints have helped swell opposition in many states, such as Texas and Florida, that have vehemently opposed the dictates of vaccines, mask-wearing and other federal policies at the heart of public health advice during the pandemic.
More than a dozen countries and some employers have joined forces to fight a broader mandate that requires private employers of 100 or more workers to enforce company-wide immunization. that The appeals court has temporarily blocked this authorization In addition, as challengers to this policy pursue their arguments that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has overstepped its authority.