NY state responds to vaccine mandate lawsuit on medical workers

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The state just made Wednesday night’s 5 p.m. deadline, submitting a response to the lawsuit against it’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

The NY State Attorney General’s office filed papers in a federal court in Utica. A judge had put a temporary restraining order on enforcing the mandate because it did not include religious exemptions.

The state released a 22-page response to the lawsuit on Wednesday.

The report argues that providing a religious exemption for a COVID-19 vaccine would be inconsistent with previous regulations for medical workers.

The AG’s office says religious exemptions have not been offered for hospital workers and other healthcare setting employees for other vaccines, including the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

They say vaccinations are necessary for healthcare workers because they tend to work with patients who are at a greater risk of severe disease from COVID-19 or might not be vaccinated due to health reasons.

Opponents of the requirement have said it’s causing more people to leave the medical field and could lead to worker shortages.

“The vast majority of these healthcare workers were considered heroes. They risked their lives, and now you have 30-35% of the people being threatened of firing,” said Corey Willig, Buffalo Attorney at HoganWillig.

The state also pointed out that more than 50 medical professional societies and organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have called for all healthcare employers to require vaccines for their workers.

The mandate was set to take affect on Monday, Sep. 27. However the enforcement is on hold while the case makes its way through the courts.

The judge will issue a decision on a preliminary injunction before the temporary restraining order expires on October 12.

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