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Federal Judge Blocks Biden COVID Vaccine Mandate For Healthcare Workers
Vaccine mandates around the world have been met with fierce opposition, but the mandates continue to intensify. Austria recently announced that vaccines will be required for every single citizen starting on the first of February.
In the United States, vaccines have been mandated for all federal employees, federal contractors, and healthcare workers - but there's been a harsh resistance to these mandates. The latest example comes from Ohio, as well as 10 other states in the US where the mandate has been temporarily blocked.
The Biden administration is currently in the process of appealing.
For example, The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Aultman Hospitals are pausing their requirements for employees to be vaccinated against COVID. These decisions were made after a federal judge temporarily blocked President Biden's mandate for healthcare workers from going into effect in Ohio.
Furthermore according to Fortune,
At least four states, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee, have recently passed laws to allow employees to sign up for unemployment insurance if they are fired for their refusal to comply with vaccine mandates. A number of state lawmakers in Arkansas, New York, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have introduced legislation to do the same, and legal scholars expect more to come in 2022.
Biden had imposed a Dec. 6, 2021 deadline for health care workers to get the first dose of the vaccine and a Jan. 4, 2022 deadline to be fully vaccinated.
U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty said the federal executive branch does not have the constitutional authority to implement the vaccine requirement.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has challenged and sued over other aspects of Biden's vaccine requirements, too, including a mandate that businesses with more than 100 employees must require COVID-19 vaccines.
Some healthcare facilities are choosing to keep vaccine mandates in place. In light of the new ruling, Akron Children's Hospital is extending its deadline for employees to be vaccinated until Jan. 11, 2022 but will not drop requirements for employees to be vaccinated.
Ontario and Quebec Canada also dropped vaccine requirements for healthcare workers due to a labour shortage, but individual hospitals still have the option of requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
Vaccine mandates have caused issues for healthcare systems around the world despite the fact that the majority of healthcare workers in various regions are fully vaccinated. For example, in November, more than 4,000 healthcare workers in British Columbia, Canada that had not received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine were placed on unpaid leave. This resulted in many surgeries being postponed.
Because of staff shortages, companies like Spectrum Health, a provider and network of hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Southwest and West Michigan, is allowing healthcare workers who have acquired natural immunity to continue to work.
In New York state there were approximately 70,000 healthcare workers that were not vaccinated, which represented 16% of the total amount of healthcare workers. All of these people were set to lose their jobs unless they agreed to get fully vaccinated.
Lewis County General Hospital in New York had to stop delivering babies in September due to a shortage of staff. At that time, approximately 26 percent of workers at that hospital were refusing to get vaccinated.
There are many examples, even early on in the pandemic many healthcare workers were quite hesitant at the thought of being forced to comply. For example, Riverside County, California has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county were refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they had top priority and access to it early in the pandemic.
With mandates being put in place and people fearing job loss, many have been coerced into taking the vaccines. But the number of people and healthcare workers specifically that refuse to be jabbed is still significant enough to cause a shortage of labour in healthcare facilities across the country.