Judge blocks medical worker COVID-19 vaccine mandate in NY state

Coronavirus

FILE – A pharmacy technician loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at a mass vaccination site at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. U.S. experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state of New York from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated.

Judge David Hurd in Utica issued the order Tuesday after 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, claimed the vaccine mandate violated their rights because it disallows religious exemptions.

The judge gave New York state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court in Utica.

The state issued the order Aug. 28, requiring at least a first shot for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes by Sept. 27.

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