Hospitals across the country won’t have to make sure their workers are vaccinated after a judge temporarily blocked another federal mandate challenged by Kentucky Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
The decision does not prevent workplaces from requiring vaccines, and several Kentucky hospital systems require their workers to be vaccinated anyway.
Cameron has joined 13 other states pursuing the requirement, which threatened to withhold Medicare and Medicaid funding for healthcare companies that do not guarantee employees are vaccinated by Jan. 4.
The decision came from U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, of the Western District of Louisiana, and applies nationwide.
In his ruling, Doughty wrote that President Joe Biden’s administration lacks the power to issue vaccination warrants and questioned whether Congress would even be able to.
âThere is no question that mandating a vaccine for 10.3 million healthcare workers is something that should be done by Congress, not by a government agency. It is not clear that even an act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional, âDoughty wrote.
âIf human nature and history teach us anything, it’s that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency. “
Tuesday’s decision came hours after a decision from another judge who temporarily blocked the federal mandate on vaccines for entrepreneurs in Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. Cameron led this effort with the attorneys general of those states.
The trial over the mandate to vaccinate healthcare workers was led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The states participating in the trial are Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.
In a statement, Cameron said the move means workers won’t lose their jobs if they don’t get vaccinated.
“We are grateful to the court for the relief this ruling brings to overburdened healthcare facilities and compassionate healthcare workers in Kentucky and across our country who feared losing their jobs under this tenure,” wrote Cameron.
The decision comes as the coronavirus business is piling up in kentucky again and concerns are mounting about a new variant of the virus, the omicron.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 52% of Kentuckians are fully vaccinated. About 60% of the American population is fully vaccinated.
At least 11 hospital systems in Kentucky require their employees to be vaccinated.