Medical Technology

Federal Court Declines to Lift the Stay on Vaccine Mandate

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and instructions in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

WASHINGTON (AP), A federal court declined Friday to lift the suspension on the Biden administration’s mandate to use vaccines for businesses that employ 100 or more employees.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the federal OSHA’s requirement that workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4, or that they wear a mask and undergo weekly testing.

Lawyers for the Justice and Labor departments filed an answer on Monday in which they claimed that stopping the mandate from taking effect will only prolong the COVID-19 epidemic and will “cost hundreds or even dozens of lives every day.”

Friday’s appeals court denied this argument. Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote that the stay “is absolutely in the public interest.”

“From economic tensions to workplace conflicts the mere thought of the Mandate has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months,” Engelhardt wrote.

At least 27 states have filed legal challenges to at least six federal appeals courts following OSHA published its rules on Nov. 4. In court filings Monday the federal government said that the cases should be combined. It also suggested that the court in which the legal challenge was filed be randomly chosen on November. 16 to hear it.

The administration’s lawyers have stated that there is no reason for the vaccine mandate to be put on hold while the court which will decide the cases is still undetermined.

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