HHS appeals nationwide halt to healthcare worker vaccine rule

HHS is appealing a federal court's decision to temporarily block the start of its vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, according to Bloomberg Law

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana granted a preliminary injunction Nov. 30 halting the vaccination rule for healthcare workers until legal challenges are resolved. 

"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."

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and other defendants filed an appeal Dec. 1. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit will hear the appeal. 

The preliminary injunction at issue 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 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.

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