The word no and a syringe

A coalition of 22 states led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R), today formally called on the Biden administration to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for nursing home and other healthcare workers, as well as all related guidance.

The coalition filed its petition under the Administrative Procedures Act requesting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services take immediate action to repeal its interim final rule and state surveyor guidance, which require participating healthcare facilities to “develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that all staff are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.”

“The Biden administration relied on a purported emergency to sidestep its normal requirements,” the attorneys general said, adding that the mandate has limited many peoples’ access to medical care and affected the livelihoods of healthcare workers.

“As a result of the IFR, significant numbers of their citizens who are healthcare employees have been forced to submit to bodily invasion, navigate exemption processes or lose their jobs and their livelihoods,” the petition states. “All their citizens will suffer as a result of the predictable and conceded exacerbation of labor shortages in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.”

The interim final rule regulates more than 10 million healthcare workers and suppliers in the United States, the attorneys general noted.  Of those, CMS estimated that 2.4 million were unvaccinated when it issued the rule.

Attorneys general from Arizona, Louisiana, and Tennessee helped Knudsen lead the effort. Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming also joined.

In January, the Supreme Court upheld CMS’ vaccine mandate requiring 20 million healthcare workers, including those in federally funded home health agencies, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. It simultaneously blocked the mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that required workers at private businesses with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated or tested weekly. OSHA is expected to release permanent COVID-19 standards.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

This article originally appeared on McKnight's Senior Living