It’s not everyday that a federal judge throws out a mandate at the expense of health workers.
That’s what just happened in North Carolina.
US District Judge Thomas Schroeder said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mandate that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV ensure their vaccines are up to date is “invalid” and should be stopped.
The judge in Greensboro, North Carolina, ruled Wednesday that the mandate violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to speak freely.
The law required anyone licensed to provide health care, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lab technicians, to get the three diseases and state that they had the vaccine. The requirement was to take effect July 1.
The Alliance for Vaccine Choice, which fought the CDC mandate, is called “a national, non-profit organization committed to public health promotion and education.”
The ruling didn’t specifically mention vaccine manufacturers, but the alliance is among those that make the vaccines.
More than 14 million people have been vaccinated so far this year for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV in the United States, CDC officials say.
“Although we expect that the Hep B, Hep C and HIV vaccines will be required in the future, due to the federal mandate’s constitutional basis, we are evaluating a number of options to ensure that medical professionals are afforded a reasonable and lawful choice in vaccinations and can be free to practice their personal beliefs and conscientiously object on religious grounds,” Tonya Sledge, associate commissioner for patient safety at the CDC, said in a statement.