Health and Science

Court revives U.S. Covid-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare in 26 states

Key Points
  • The mandate is still blocked in 24 states.
  • The mandate requires that federally funded healthcare facilities mandate Covid-19 vaccines or risk losing federal aid.
  • Most U.S. healthcare workers have already been vaccinated by choice.
A small group of anti-vaccination protesters gather outside of New York-Presbyterian Hospital on September 01, 2021 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

A U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday revived in 26 states a Biden administration Covid-19 vaccine mandate requiring millions of U.S. healthcare workers to get vaccinated if they work in federally funded facilities.

In a rare win for President Joe Biden's pandemic strategy, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that a lower court only had the authority to block the mandate in the 14 states that had sued. The appeals court ruled that the lower court was wrong to impose a nationwide injunction.

Biden's mandate requires that healthcare facilities get staff vaccinated against the coronavirus or lose federal funding. 

The mandate remains temporarily blocked in 24 states -- the 14 states involved in the case reviewed by the New Orleans appeals court and 10 states where the mandate was blocked by a separate Nov. 29 ruling. 

Most U.S. healthcare workers have been vaccinated by choice.