Federal judges block vaccination mandate for healthcare workers

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Federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana issued preliminary injunctions Nov. 30 to halt the start of COVID-19 vaccination mandates for millions of workers across the U.S. 

One injunction, written by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana, temporarily blocks CMS from enforcing its vaccination mandate for healthcare workers until legal challenges are resolved, according to The New York Times

"There is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million health care workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency," Mr. Doughty, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, wrote. "It is not clear that even an act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional."

The injunction effectively expanded a separate order issued Nov. 29 by a federal court in Missouri that temporarily halted the vaccine rules for healthcare workers in 10 states. The CMS mandate requires hospital and nursing home workers to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4. The regulation allows exemptions based on religious beliefs or recognized medical conditions. 

In Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove granted a preliminary injunction Nov. 30 temporarily blocking enforcement of a vaccine mandate clause in new government contracts. The order prevents the mandate from taking effect in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee until the legal challenges have concluded.

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