Supreme Court declines to block Maine vaccine mandate

The Supreme Court previously dismissed Indiana University students and teachers in New York City who had spoken out against vaccination. Both the university and the city allow people to apply for religious exemptions.

Maine’s requirement was introduced by Democratic Governor Janet Mills. A federal judge in Maine declined to end the mandate and concluded that the lawsuit would not succeed. The October 13 ruling sparked a spate of appeals to the Supreme Court for the second time.

The Liberty Counsel who filed the lawsuit claimed to represent more than 2,000 healthcare workers who do not want to be forced to vaccinate.

Dozens of healthcare workers have decided to quit, and a hospital in Maine’s second-largest city has already cut some admissions due to an “acute shortage” of nurses.

But most health workers have obeyed, and Maine residents have generally endorsed the vaccine. The Maine Hospital Association and other health organizations support the requirement.

Last week, Maine became the fourth state to hit a 70% milestone to be vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“These are the vaccines we all hoped and prayed for a year ago,” Mills said. “Now we have them and we should take full advantage of them.”

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