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December 6, 2021 10:58am

Federal vaccine mandate blocked for federal contractors and health care workers

President Biden’s federal vaccine mandates suffered major blows last week when two separate federal courts issued injunctions to halt the enforcement of key rules for federal contractors and healthcare workers.

A federal judge in Kentucky issued a ruling in response to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s lawsuit blocking the mandate for federal contractors in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Shortly after, a federal judge in Louisiana issued a nationwide injunction against the mandate for health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In the written rulings, both judges indicated that the Biden Administration does not have the authority to implement the vaccine mandate.

In November, a US Court of Appeals upheld a decision to block OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which mandated that all employers with more than 100 workers require their workforce be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The compliance for healthcare workers was tied to federal funding for facilities that received Medicare or Medicaid funding.

Critics of the vaccine mandates argue that the mandates would exacerbate workforce shortage issues in industries, like long term nursing facilities and rural health care providers, and would also violate constitutional rights. All three vaccine rules had an initial compliance date of December 6, 2021. The injunctions issued last week halt the enforcement but are not the final word. The Justice Department immediately asked that higher courts reinstate the mandates.

GLI Advocacy will continue to monitor the situation and provide information to our investors on the status of the court decisions.