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10 US states sue Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine rule

Attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming signed on to the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in Missouri on Friday.

October 30, 2021 / 09:58 AM IST
Image: Associated Press

Image: Associated Press

Ten states have filed a lawsuit to stop President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, arguing that the requirement violates federal law.

Attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming signed on to the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in Missouri on Friday.

The states asked a federal judge to block Biden’s requirement that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated against the coronavirus, arguing that the mandate violates federal procurement law and is an overreach of federal power.

If the federal government attempts to unconstitutionally exert its will and force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, the workforce and businesses could be decimated, further exacerbating the supply chain and workforce crises, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, said in a statement.

The federal government should not be mandating vaccinations, and that’s why we filed suit today to halt this illegal, unconstitutional action.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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New Hampshire’s Republican Attorney General John Formella said in a statement that COVID vaccines are safe, effective and encouraged but that the benefits do not justify violating the law.

Biden has argued that sweeping vaccine mandates will help end the deadly pandemic, but Republicans nationwide have opposed the vaccination requirements and have threatened to bring similar legal challenges.

Florida filed a separate lawsuit against the federal mandate on Thursday.

That lawsuit also alleged the president doesn’t have the authority to issue the rule and that it violates procurement law.



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Associated Press
first published: Oct 30, 2021 09:58 am
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