MONDAY, Nov. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A stay on the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large businesses has been upheld by a federal court.
The requirement that employees of businesses with 100 or more workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or wear face masks and get weekly tests was granted an emergency stay on Nov. 6 by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Associated Press reported.
Federal lawyers filed a response saying that blocking the mandate would prolong the pandemic and could "cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day."
But on Friday, the appeals court rejected that argument, saying the stay is "firmly in the public interest."
In his decision, Judge Kurt Engelhardt wrote: "From economic uncertainty to workplace strife, the mere specter of the mandate has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months."
Legal challenges against the mandate have been filed by at least 27 states in at least six federal appeals courts, and federal government lawyers say the cases should be consolidated and one court chosen to hear it, the AP reported.
They also say there is no reason to keep the vaccine mandate on hold while waiting for a decision on which court will hear the cases.
Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more on COVID vaccines.