A federal judge has temporarily blocked New York state from requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated for COVID19.
Judge David Hurd of the Northern District of New York issued the ruling after 17 healthcare workers filed a lawsuit saying the mandate violated their rights because it did not permit religious exemptions.
The state issued the vaccine mandate on Aug. 28, requiring employees at nursing homes and hospitals to have at least one shot by Sept. 27.
The plaintiffs, who included physicians and nurses, claimed that because the New York Department of Health allowed no exemptions for “sincere religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination,” the mandate violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution and the New York State Human Rights Law.
It appears that their objections centered on their religious conviction to oppose any involvement in abortion. The court papers said that all COVID-19 vaccines use cell lines derived from fetal tissue in their development, production, or testing.
Judge Hurd has given the state of New York until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit. If the state opposes the plaintiffs, an oral hearing will occur on Sept. 28.
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Original Author: David Hogberg