A federal judge temporarily prevented New York state from requiring healthcare workers to receive COVID-19 vaccines on Sept. 14.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York blocked a vaccine mandate that was due to take effect on Sept. 27.
Judge David Hurd respected the wishes of 17 doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers with religious exemptions. He ruled an Empire State Department of Health regulation that forces them to be immunized violates the Constitution, state human rights law, and New York City human rights law.
This judgment is based on the absence of exemptions for “sincere religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination,” according to the Associated Press.
Court documents obtained by the newswire agency show all available vaccines were tested, developed, or produced using aborted fetus cell lines.
Religious authorities are divided on the controversial topic, and the Vatican declared vaccines “morally acceptable” back in 2020, according to U.S. News.
The plaintiffs declared they are Christians and not “anti-vaxxers.”
New York state has until September 22 to answer the federal complaint filed in Utica. If the state opposes the plaintiffs’s request for a preliminary court order, which pauses the vaccine mandate, an oral hearing will be held on Sept. 28.
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued the order for healthcare workers in hospitals and elderly homes to receive their first shot no later than Sept. 27.
About 75% of 450,000 hospital workers, 74% of adult care facility workers and 68% of nursing home staff were fully vaccinated at the time of publication.