Federal judge blocked vaccinations of healthcare workers nationwide

President Joe Biden’s announcement of boosting COVID-19 vaccination rates among medical personnel came up against a hurdle when a federal judge suspended enforcement on Tuesday.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid this month published an interim final rule that effectively made COVID-19 vaccinations a condition of Medicare and Medicaid participation, which means that medical employers who do not comply with mandatory vaccinations risk losing reimbursement for these programs.

According to the rule, about 17 million workers in 76,000 medical institutions were to receive the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by December 6 and be fully immunized by January 4.

This order has been suspended after Judge Terry Doughty of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ruled preliminary injunction stopping it. Republican officials from 14 states have filed a lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandate. Executives from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia have initiated legal action.

“This issue will ultimately be decided by a higher court than this one. However, in this matter, it is important to maintain the status quo. The interests of the freedom of the unvaccinated demand no less, ”Doughty wrote in his ruling.

The CMS Rule for Healthcare Jobs and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation for employers with at least 100 employees are key elements of Biden’s response to COVID-19 and have been the subject of numerous lawsuits.

The Louisiana federal judge’s decision was made the day after a Missouri federal judge suspended the CMS rule in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming in separate litigation. … A Florida federal judge last week dismissed an attempt by the state government to block the medical professional’s authority.

In addition to federal regulations requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a number of states have adopted similar regulations. A dozen states mandatory vaccinations, and three more require health-care workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Another dozen states outlawed employer’s requirements for vaccines. Last month, the US Supreme Court rejected a motion by Maine health professionals to terminate the Maine rule.

In practice, health facility vaccination requirements have been effective, but results vary by geographic location and type of provider.

Some hospitals and health systems that introduced vaccination requirements prior to state or federal government action have made significant strides. Overall, 70% of hospital workers were vaccinated as of mid-September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, in particular, vaccination rates for rural health employers are lagging behind. Medical companies have not spoken out openly against the demands, but many have expressed concern that the rules could exacerbate the ongoing labor shortages faced by hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and others.

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