Judge partially reinstates healthcare vaccine rule

Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel

Healthcare workers in roughly half of U.S. states are now shielded from a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, while those in the other half must get vaccinated by Jan. 4. 

Two appeals courts on Wednesday lifted a nationwide court order halting the Biden administration’s shot mandate for healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding. However, the change did not apply to states that sued to challenge the vaccine requirement, including Florida, which announced a suit last month. 

What’s the latest news on omicron? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the omicron variant is not just a mild strain and can still cause serious infection in the elderly, people with underlying conditions, and the unvaccinated.

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A recent National Institutes of Health study showed the Moderna vaccine is less effective against omicron unless combined with a booster.

Data from South Africa indicate that the variant causes less serious illness than earlier strains but spreads easily and quickly.

The United Kingdom recorded 78,610 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, its highest daily total so far. The European Union estimates omicron will replace delta as the dominant variant by January. 

—With reporting from J.C. Derrick

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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