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There remains an invitation for all people to get vaccinated. Photo: Pixabay.

Supreme Court suspends vaccination mandate for large companies

The measure, promoted by the Biden administration, faced a major setback and was blocked by the highest court in the land.

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The Supreme Court of the United States issued its response to a mandate from the Biden administration that required companies with more than 80 workers to require its employees to be fully vaccinated to work.

The court's decision consists on blocking the measure, a ruling that is based on the absence of powers of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an order of this type, as Congress has not granted it such powers, not even amid the health emergency.

“I am disappointed with the court's decision, which is a huge setback for the health and safety of workers across the country. OSHA supports the Temporary Emergency Immunization and Testing Standard as the best way to protect the nation's workforce from a deadly virus that is infecting more than 750,000 Americans each day and has claimed the lives of nearly a million Americans," declared the Secretary of Labor of the United States, Marty Walsh, after hearing the decision of the Court.

Walsh also called on large business owners and managers: “We urge all employers to require workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly to more effectively combat this deadly virus in the workplace. Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers on the job, and OSHA has comprehensive COVID-19 guidance to help them meet their obligation."

Read the full statement here.

What else does the White House say?

The White House continues to recommend asking companies to implement vaccine requirements for work.

The Supreme Court did allow the continuation of a vaccination mandate for certain health workers in the country, but the Biden administration was still disappointed and assured that “the requirement is based on science and the data that show the efficacy of vaccines against the spread of the coronavirus and the grave danger faced by unvaccinated workers.”

Likewise, they defended the implementation of the mandate as a necessary measure to combat the pandemic, and argued that continuing to postpone the requirement to be vaccinated could bring more unnecessary deaths and collapses in the health system.

It also noted that while some companies continue to enact vaccine policies, the lack of a national requirement and federal enforcement mechanisms places an undue burden on employers to make these “political” decisions on their own.

Finally, and after the decision of the Supreme Court, the Biden-Harris administration made a request to at least require the use of masks and frequent tests — a request that for now was not taken into account.

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