COVID-19 vaccine Mandate Temporarily Halted. Here’s the Reason Behind This!

The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate requires companies with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing starting January 4.

Covered employers are required to implement a mask mandate for unvaccinated workers by December 5.

Read more: Vaccine Mandates Eased by the White House?

However, this was temporarily blocked by more than two dozen states, businesses, business groups and religious organizations have sued, calling the rule issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration an overreach of government authority.

The lawsuits site that OSHA does not have the legal authority to issue a rule to address a society-wide health concern, and even if reducing the risk of COVID-19 “remains a compelling interest,” it is not necessarily a “grave danger” as OSHA has declared it to be. The plaintiffs also question the timing of the rule, coming more than a year-and-a-half into the pandemic, when many employers have already implemented safety measures and COVID cases are falling.

Read more: Vaccine Mandate for United’s Employees Can Continue, says Judge

“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” Biden said in September.

The push to require vaccinations has prompted a backlash. A group of Senate Republicans sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, saying they’d oppose all efforts to implement and enforce the COVID-19 vaccine. The letter said, “The decision whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a highly personal one that should never be forced upon individuals by the federal government.”

Read more: Thousands gather in downtown L.A. to protest city worker COVID vaccine mandate

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases, which occur when vaccinated people contract the disease, are far less deadly than cases in unvaccinated patients but can still produce long-term effects, including “long COVID.”

“With the reopening of workplaces and the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the threat to workers is ongoing and overwhelming,” the administration argued, while dismissing the legal objections that led to the stay as lacking merit.

Read more: Strict vaccine mandate begins for Los Angeles businesses

“Defending a policy is not a new thing,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier on Monday.

“The administration clearly has the authority to protect workers, and actions announced by the President are designed to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Keep up with more news here at the East County Gazette. 

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