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Senate Votes to Repeal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers

March 9, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
Dr. Sonia Macieiewski, right, and Dr. Nita Patel, Director of Antibody discovery and vaccine development, look at a sample of a respiratory virus at Novavax labs in Rockville, Md. on March 20, 2020, one of the labs developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, COVID-19. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

The Senate recently approved a resolution to repeal the COVID-19 health care worker vaccine mandate that a Supreme Court ruling on Jan. 13 allowed to proceed.

The White House issued a statement that the decision by the Senate would put unvaccinated health care workers and their patients at significant risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.

“It makes no sense for Congress to reverse this much-needed protection for medically vulnerable patients, as well as our health care workers who have given so much to protect us. A vote for this resolution threatens the lives of patients and health care workers alike,” writes the administration in the statement. 

Back in January, the Supreme Court gave the green light to a national vaccine mandate for 10 million health care workers who serve Medicare and Medicaid recipients to get vaccinated or lose funding from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

On Jan. 14, CMS updated its guidance to reflect that health care workers in all states should get their first shot of the vaccine by Feb. 14, and their second shot by March 15. 

At this time, the rule will still require workers at an estimated 76,000 CMS-funded health care facilities to receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by March 15, get an approved medical or religious exemption, or lose CMS funding. 

The House is not expected to pass the resolution, and the statement from the White House said that if Congress were to pass this resolution, the president would veto it. 

Alexa can be reached at alexa@thewellnews.com

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