Tenn. attorney general joins 21 other states looking to get rid of COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:16 PM EST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One year after it was originally filed, Tennessee is joining a petition with 21 other state attorneys general wanting to strike down a COVID-19 vaccine mandate at health care facilities.

The state attorney general say the vaccine mandate contributes to the shortage of health care workers across the country.

They also say the data we now have on the vaccine doesn’t match up to when that mandate was put in place.

Memphians we spoke with tonight all have different opinions.

Republican Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and other Republican state attorneys general want federal vaccine mandates gone.

Those states include: Montana, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming

Each of them co-signed a petition asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to strike down the mandate requiring a COVID vaccine for some health care workers.

Memphians have varying opinions on the matter.

“The nurses and health care workers and everyone that’s been going along with this for the past couple years, I mean, it’s their choice. I feel like they know more about it more than we probably do,” Dallas Threadgill said. “So yeah I think it’s a good thing, and it’s their choice.”

Memphian JC disagrees.

“The AG wants to continue sailing off into the unknown, and I think that’s inconsequential,” JC said. “I disagree with it, but it is now entered the world culture wars so it’s totally political and... it’s just not tethered to reality.”

The Interim Final Rule (IFR) that put the vaccine mandate on health care facilities was enacted in November of last year when the Delta variant rocked the country, overwhelming hospitals.

One year later, they say, “CMS should have known in November 2021—full vaccination doesn’t prevent infection or transmission. But that didn’t stop CMS from jamming through the IFR’s draconian vaccine mandate.”

The petitioners want a repeal of the mandate and a withdrawal of guidance related to it.

They are not seeking legal action yet.

Read the full petition here.

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