Judge Temporarily Bars Pentagon From Taking Action Against Unvaccinated Sailors
Challenges against covid vaccine mandates continue to make their way through the courts and statehouses while regional governments and businesses mull additional requirements.
The New York Times:
Federal Judge Blocks The Defense Dept. From Punishing Navy Forces Who Refuse The Vaccine.
A federal judge on Monday granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Defense from taking “any adverse action” against 35 Navy sailors who have refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, arguing that it violated their religious freedoms. The service members — including Navy SEALs and members of the Naval Special Warfare Command — had filed suit against the Biden administration arguing that their “sincerely held religious beliefs forbid each of them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons based upon their Christian faith.” The Pentagon had mandated that all active-duty troops receive the vaccine. (Albeck-Ripka, 1/4)
In more news about covid mandates —
Pence Group Files SCOTUS Brief Opposing Biden Vaccine Mandate
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday announced his advocacy group has filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reject the Biden administration's attempt to require large businesses to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for its workers or require frequent testing. Pence filed the brief, which was shared with The Hill, through his political advocacy group Advancing American Freedom. (Samuels, 1/3)
Covid-19: NYC Mayor Eric Adams Weighing Booster Mandates In April
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city could expand its Covid-19 vaccine mandates to include requiring booster shots in April. “We will do an analysis around April based on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and see if we want to mandate them,” Adams said in a Monday interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power with David Westin.” Right now, public sector employees are required to be fully vaccinated. A vaccine mandate for private sector workers went into place on Dec. 27, with employees required to get their second dose within 45 days or they won’t be allowed to come to their workplaces. (Westin and Banjo, 1/3)
The Wall Street Journal:
Starbucks Imposes Covid-19 Vaccine, Testing Requirements For U.S. Workers
Starbucks Corp. is requiring its U.S. employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to regular testing, one of the first large restaurant chains to take such a step ahead of potential federal vaccination mandates for large employers. Starbucks said Monday that workers in its U.S. cafes, offices and manufacturing plants must be vaccinated by Feb. 9 or get tested weekly. (Haddon, 1/3)
COVID In Indiana: Bill Would Ban 'Vaccine Status Discrimination'
An Indiana lawmaker filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would ban "vaccine status discrimination," coming just as cases soar. Senate Bill 114 would prohibit businesses from requiring vaccines for any employees or customers. Businesses also could no longer require those who are unvaccinated to get tested, wear a mask or social distance, in situations when those who are vaccinated aren't required to. Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, said he drafted the bill because of a deluge of phone calls and emails from people concerned about vaccine mandates. People shouldn't be forced into getting the COVID-19 vaccine, he said. (Lange, 1/4)
Bangor Daily News:
Maine Paramedics Would Drop Non-COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Under New Proposal
A draft version of a permanent rule from a board subcommittee would only require COVID-19 vaccines after some cited concerns that other ongoing requirements could create an unnecessary burden as the state struggles to manage the pandemic and faces a workforce crisis. That would differentiate EMS workers from workers in hospitals and nursing homes. “I think all of the vaccines are important for anyone working in health care,” said Joe Kellner, a Northern Light Health administrator who chairs the state EMS board’s rules subcommittee. “At this point, we are working on dealing with the acute crisis in front of us, and dealing with the vaccine that is the most critical.” (Andrews, 1/4)