Supreme court allows mandated vaccines for most healthcare workers
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - An update on federal vaccine mandates in the U.S. as the Supreme Court blocked one mandate and decided another could stand.
Justices sided against the mandate requiring businesses with more than 100 workers to either require testing and masks, or require their staff to get vaccinated. The court decided OSHA does not have the power to enact the mandate for employers. The justices did allow the vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities. These are facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid.
The Kansas Hospital Association says hospitals in the state are busier than ever.
“Our workforce is shorter than it’s ever been, on top of the fact that we have more COVID-19 cases in the hospital,” said spokesperson Cindy Samuelson.
The American Health Care Association, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country, said in a statement:
“We respect the ruling of the U.S Supreme Court, but remain concerned that the repercussions of the vaccine mandate among health care workers will be devastating to an already decimated long term care workforce.”
Some hospitals already require it for employees, but now all healthcare workers have until February 28 to be vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption.
“Everything we can do to keep our healthcare workers healthy is important, that means all Kansans have a role to play,” said Samuelson.
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