Appeals court partially revives CMS vaccine mandate

A federal appeals court has effectively revived in 26 states a CMS vaccination mandate for eligible staff at healthcare facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Dec. 15 denied the Biden administration's request to lift a district court's injunction that blocked the mandate in 14 states that had challenged the mandate, but granted a stay on the injunction's application to any other jurisdiction.

The order comes after a federal judge in Louisiana issued an injunction Nov. 30 temporarily blocking CMS from enforcing its mandate nationwide until legal challenges are resolved. The injunction effectively expanded a separate order issued Nov. 29 by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp in the Eastern District of Missouri that temporarily halted the mandate in 10 states. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld the Missouri court's order on Dec. 13.

The Dec. 15 order from the appeals court in New Orleans means the mandate remains temporarily blocked in the 10 states where it was blocked by the Nov. 29 decision: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The mandate also remains temporarily blocked in the 14 states involved in the case reviewed by the New Orleans appeals court: Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. 

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