AdventHealth is no longer requiring its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after federal judges in Missouri and Louisiana blocked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandate.
“Due to recent decisions by the federal courts to block the CMS vaccine mandate, we are suspending the vaccination requirements prescribed by this mandate. We will continue to monitor the ongoing litigation regarding the federal law,” AdventHealth spokesperson Jeff Grainger told the Orlando Sentinel.
This is a full reversal of a message sent to employees just a few weeks ago saying they had until Dec. 6 to get their first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine and until Jan. 4 to complete their vaccination series, WKMG reports.
While the requirement is on hold for now, AdventHealth is still reportedly encouraging employees to get the shot.
“Based on scientific evidence and what we see in our hospitals every day, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at reducing both the risk of becoming infected and the level of harm in the case of a breakthrough infection,” the statement continues.
Dr. Jay Wolfson, professor of public health and associate vice president for health law, policy and safety at USF Health, said the legal battles between states and the federal government over vaccine mandates puts hospitals and health care facilities in the middle of a contentious debate.
“What's at stake here are jobs. What the stake here is patient safety,” said Wolfson. “What's at stake here is the ability of the federal government to make decisions about patient safety and employee safety based on a regulation that governs reimbursement.”