UTICA – A federal judge yesterday temporarily blocked the NYS effort to require that all healthcare employees be vaccinated against COVID after a group of healthcare professionals filed suit claiming their rights were being violated. The state has until September 22 to respond to the lawsuit.
If the state refuses to allow for religious exemptions, the court will hear oral arguments on September 28.
Former Governor Cuomo issued the mandate in August, right before leaving office. It requires that all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCF), including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27.
The court documents filed in federal court in Utica, say all of the available vaccines employ aborted fetus cell lines in their testing, development, or production, which is why the plaintiffs, who are Christians, are against the vaccine. The state has removed most religious exemptions from the vaccination mandate.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s press office issued a statement saying “Governor Hochul is doing everything in her power to protect New Yorkers and combat the Delta variant by increasing vaccine rates across the State. Requiring vaccination of health care workers is critical to this battle.”