Vaccination mandates face further lawsuits and local reluctance

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Health officials in Detroit and Maine have filed legal challenges over employee vaccine requirements. Arizona and Oregon state leaders also disagree with measures adopted by municipal governments.

Axios: Detroit hospital system sued for COVID vaccine mandate

About 50 Detroit healthcare workers have filed a lawsuit against a hospital system, saying its upcoming term on the COVID-19 vaccine violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of “personal autonomy and bodily integrity.” This is the second major legal test regarding vaccination warrants in the healthcare industry, after an unsuccessful lawsuit claiming a Texas hospital policy requiring all staff to be vaccinated against the virus was illegal. (Falconer, 9/8)

Arizona Republic: Arizona Attorney General Brnovich calls Tucson vaccine warrant illegal

Tucson cannot force its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the city is putting millions of dollars in state revenue at risk if it continues to implement a mandate given by city council last month, said Tuesday Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal and the city could be held responsible for attempting to force government employees to take it against their beliefs,” Brnovich said in a released statement. … If the city doesn’t reverse or change the policy within 30 days, it could lose state revenue, Brnovich’s office said. (Stern and Barchenger, 9/7)

Bangor Daily News: Newly formed coalition sues Maine over COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

A coalition formed to oppose Maine’s vaccine requirement for healthcare workers has filed a lawsuit against senior state health officials to stop the policy before it goes into effect on next month. The lawsuit of the Alliance Against Health Care Mandates, which announced its formation in late August, is the second court challenge to the warrant to be filed in as many weeks. The group filed a lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on Thursday, arguing the rule violated federal and state laws as well as the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit names Maine Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Nirav Shah as accused. (Marino Jr., 9/7)

AP: Police could be exempted from employee vaccination warrant

Portland city officials, due to new guidelines, may need to exempt the police office from an order that all employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs. The city attorney’s office said on Tuesday that the order requiring police to be vaccinated was now legally questionable due to new guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. (9/8)

In other news –

Axios: Vermont State Soldiers Resign Amid Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Card Probe

Three Vermont state soldiers have resigned following an investigation into an alleged fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card program, Vermont state police said in a statement on Tuesday. The former soldiers are believed to have created fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, the statement said. The case has been referred to the Vermont prosecutor’s office and the FBI, which has opened an investigation into the case. (Garfinkel, 9/7)

Reuters: Bristol-Myers to require staff in US and Puerto Rico to be vaccinated

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. will require all of its employees working in the United States and Puerto Rico to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as of November 1, the drugmaker said on Tuesday. Faced with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, spurred by the highly contagious variant of the Delta coronavirus, many American companies have offered masks and changed their vaccination policies. (9/7)

Los Angeles Times: LA Unified Board examines COVID vaccine mandate

A clear majority of Los Angeles board of education members are either in favor or in favor of requiring eligible students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as education officials across the state stand up. are debating a measure that could help prevent school infections and keep classrooms open, but would likely ignite the pushback. School board president Kelly Gonez said such a mandate would be a wise step to be taken “within a reasonable period of time.” While the board could make a decision about the students’ vaccine mandate fairly quickly, its effective date would depend on many factors, including the time allotted for education efforts and family outreach, a- she declared. (Blume and Newberry, 9/8)

The Washington Post: Jim Jordan says vaccination warrants are not American. George Washington thought otherwise, critics say.

As the summer wave of the delta variant has renewed the country’s divisions over coronavirus vaccines, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on Monday that the mandates for the vaccination do not reflect what it means to be American. . “Vaccination warrants are not American,” Jordan tweeted. But critics criticized Jordan’s Labor Day message as being nearly two and a half centuries distant – very distant. George Washington, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the War of Independence, made the bold decision in 1777 to demand that his troops be immunized after a smallpox epidemic devastated the nation. (Bella, 9/7)

The Atlantic: why the ACLU did an about-face on vaccination mandates

Why does a historically libertarian organization support strict public health measures? (Berman, 9/8)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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