Alaska joins coalition against COVID vaccine mandate

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 4:54 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A coronavirus vaccine mandate has been blocked by a U.S. District Court Judge, something President Joe Biden’s administration attempted to enforce on health care workers in 10 states.

Several states including Alaska are part of a coalition suing against the judicial order, maintaining the mandate is unconstitutional under the 10th amendment and violates other federal laws.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had ordered many healthcare providers to force their employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine or else risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

This rule required workers to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by December 6 and their second dose by January 4, 2022.

A Federal Judge in Missouri stated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had no clear authority from Congress to enact the mandate for health care providers that participate in the two government programs.

“The federal government’s strong-arm tactics could have severe impacts on our already stretched health care system, especially in rural Alaska,” Attorney General Treg Taylor said. “This kind of overreach into the personal, medical freedoms of the people of Alaska couldn’t go unchallenged. We will continue working to stop these unconstitutional mandates, whether for our healthcare workers, federal contractors, or private employers.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy said he “will continue to fight for the right of all Alaskans to make their own choices about medical care without unnecessary intrusion from the government.”

Senator Dan Sullivan agreed, saying, “Vaccinations should be a personal choice.” He also added, “The President is moving in the wrong direction with the vaccine mandate.”

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