NY judge blocks vaccine mandate for state healthcare workers

Photo credit Jeff J Mitchell - Pool /Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A New York district judge granted a temporary injunction Tuesday blocking the state from forcing health care workers to be vaccinated under a mandate.

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David Hurd, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton's, took issue with the states removal of the religious exemption and said the state Department of Health is also "barred from taking any action, disciplinary or otherwise, against the licensure, certification, residency, admitting privileges or other professional status or qualification ... of their seeking or having obtained a religious exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccine."

Hurd's ruling comes after the health agency removed the religious exemption before the state mandate which led to a lawsuit by 17 health professionals, arguing their constitutional rights were violated.

The DOH voted unanimously on Sept. 1 to eliminate the religious exemption for health care workers, although former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's August mandate allowed religious or medical exemption.

Hurd gave the state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit.

Health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes were required to receive their first COVID-19 shot by Sept. 27.