A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday to halt the start of President Biden’s national vaccine mandate for health care workers, which had been set to begin next week.
The injunction effectively expanded a separate order issued on Monday by a federal court in Missouri. The earlier one had applied only to 10 states that joined in a lawsuit against the president’s decision to require all health workers in hospitals and nursing homes to receive at least their first shot by Dec. 6 and to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.
Several cities and states had already imposed their own vaccine mandates for health care workers, in an effort to contain outbreaks that were often passed from communities into medical settings like nursing homes. The momentum for vaccine mandates gained steam during the summer as the Delta variant swept through nursing homes, causing spikes in staff and resident infections, as well as overwhelming hospitals in many states with another Covid surge.
The injunction was issued by Judge Terry A. Doughty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.