US appeals court gives greenlight to NY’s vaccine mandate

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FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 file photo, a nurse loads a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Jackson, Miss. Millions of Americans are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster shot to help increase their protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals panel has upheld New York state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers. The ruling late Friday by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by an upstate judge who had temporarily blocked vaccination requirements on the grounds that the mandate did not accommodate religious exemptions.

In a brief order, a panel of three 2nd Circuit judges also upheld a ruling by a Brooklyn judge who had found the mandate constitutional. The appeals court said a written decision would follow at a later date.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, commended the ruling in a tweet Friday evening, saying “I said I’d take bold steps to defeat the pandemic and protect the health of all New Yorkers. That’s exactly what we’re doing, and tonight’s ruling affirms our actions.”

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