OSHA drops employer vaccine rule, still 'prioritizing' mandate for health care workers

·1 min read
Nurse with dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Nurse with dose of COVID-19 vaccine. ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is officially withdrawing its controversial vaccine-or-test mandate for the nation's large private employers after it was blocked by the Supreme Court earlier this month, USA Today reports.

The administration also plans to ask the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was hearing a pending challenge to the mandate, to dismiss the case, according to USA Today. The mandate would have applied to roughly 80 million people had the justices on the high court not ruled 6-3 against the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's authority to implement such a policy, per The New York Times.

That said, despite the withdrawal, OSHA noted Tuesday it is still considering whether to impose a vaccine directive "through the agency's normal rulemaking process, rather than an emergency one that's subject to less scrutiny," Forbes adds.

The agency will also now focus on "prioritizing" a permanent health care worker vaccination requirement, which was upheld by the Supreme Court the same time the other rule was blocked.

"OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace," the Labor Department wrote in its statement confirming the withdrawal. Read more at USA Today.

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