On Tuesday, a federal judge in New York issued a temporary injunction against the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers.
In detail: Seventeen health professionals alleged in a lawsuit against the state on Monday that New York’s vaccine mandate for health workers violates their constitutional rights, because it does not allow for religious exemptions.
According to the court filings, all of the vaccines currently being offered used aborted fetuses in their testing or development.
The plaintiffs, all of whom are Christians, claimed that sincerely held religious beliefs compelled them to refuse these vaccines and any other medical product that involves abortion.
The plaintiffs chose to remain anonymous because they “run the risk of ostracization, threats of harm, immediate firing and other retaliatory consequences if their names become known.”
Instead, they used pseudonyms, such as “Dr. A.,” “Nurse A.,” and “Physician Liaison X.”
The court filing’s also included statements clarifying that the plaintiffs are not “anti-vaxxers.”
Judge David Hurd issued the temporary injunction just 13 days before the vaccine mandate deadline was to go into effect.
How we got here: Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers on August 16, giving employees until September 27 to receive their first dose of the vaccine.
Under the mandate, state employees who refuse to receive the vaccination will be required to undergo weekly testing for COVID-19.
Many health workers opposed the mandate, contending that the regulation impinges on their personal freedoms.
Just last week, a hospital system in upstate New York announced that they would be temporarily suspending maternity services due to a staffing shortage caused by opposition to the vaccine mandate.
Tuesday’s ruling allows the state until September 22 to respond, and if the state chooses to oppose the plaintiff’s request to block the vaccine mandate, then the two sides will meet again for an oral argument on September 28.
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