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Judge blocks COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers


Judge blocks COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing hospitalization and severe illness.

Sarah Tew/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

A federal judge in Texas has blocked US President Joe Biden’s mandate requiring federal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Friday decision is the latest blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to boost vaccination rates. 

The decision comes after the US Supreme Court last week blocked the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers, which confined the mandate only to federal workers.

In a 20-page opinion and order, Judge Jeffrey Brown said Friday that Biden’s executive order requiring federal workers to get vaccinated exceeds the president’s authority. 

“It is … about whether the president can, with the stroke of a pen and without the input of Congress, require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment,” Brown wrote. “That, under the current state of the law as just recently expressed by the Supreme Court, is a bridge too far.” 

Read more: COVID-19 booster shots: Will I need a fourth vaccine dose?

Biden issued executive orders in September requiring the federal government’s executive branch and contractors of the federal government to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline to get vaccinated was Nov. 22.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that 98% of federal workers are already vaccinated, according to CNBC. “We are confident in our legal authority here,” Psaki…

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