Judges halt New York’s vaccine mandates

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Two courts on Tuesday temporarily halted plans by the New York City and New York State governments to introduce vaccine mandates for city workers and state healthcare workers respectively.

In one of the rulings, a New York State Supreme Court judge temporarily blocked the city’s mandate until both parties can go to court for the determination of the substantive suit on September 22.

The city’s vaccine mandate is due to take effect on September 27.

This is just as a federal judge in New York issued a temporary restraining order that stops the state from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate if a health care worker claims a religious exemption.

The court’s decision is considered a temporary win for a group of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who challenged a state regulation mandating the COVID-19 vaccination of health care workers with no exemption for religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination.

According to the plaintiffs, the state’s vaccine mandate resulted from “an atmosphere of fear and irrationality” and insisted the vaccines “violate their religiously beliefs, are clearly not as effective as promised, and have known and increasing evident risks of severe and even life-threatening side effects.”

The city’s suit was filed by its largest municipal union, AFSCME District Council 37.

Henry Garrio, who heads the body, said, “While we do believe our members should get the vaccine, we do not believe it should be a condition of employment.”

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