Federal judge temporarily blocks new medical ‘vaccine mandate’

A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a new nationwide requirement for doctors and other health care workers to vaccinate all their patients, finding the regulation was being enforced “impersonally, and in an arbitrary and capricious manner.”

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta temporarily suspended the regulation’s implementation pending further review. Mehta wrote that he received several complaints from health workers about the rule. He concluded that the rule was “based on vague criteria with which health care workers have no factual basis upon which to contest it.”

He also found that the Department of Health and Human Services used a “lax” explanation of how it came to the requirement.

The ruling may extend to a broad swath of employers who are obligated to provide vaccines to their employees.

Advocates for health care workers contend that the new rule was unreasonable and violated due process. They say it is disproportionately affecting women of childbearing age, particularly single mothers, who make up the largest number of nonvaccinating health care workers. In the past year, for example, the federal government has begun requiring people working in nursing homes to receive the flu vaccine.

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