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SCOTUS blocks Biden COVID vaccine rule for large employers

The Supreme Court has stopped a major push by the Biden administration to boost the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rate, a requirement that employees at large businesses get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job (Source: “Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses,” Associated Press, Jan. 14).

At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most healthcare workers in the U.S. The court’s orders Thursday came during a spike in coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant.

The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected and OSHA had estimated that the rule would save 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospitalizations over six months.