Employers and workers wait as Supreme Court deliberates on vaccination warrants | Latest titles
As the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates whether employers and / or healthcare facilities can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, state legislatures and employers are awaiting the outcome.
Additionally, Iowa Rep. Jon Jacobsen, a Republican from Council Bluffs, has announced plans to introduce a bill to ban employer vaccination mandates in the next session of the state legislature, which begins. Monday.
If the court overturns the Biden administration’s mandates that employers with 100 or more employees must require immunizations and Medicare / Medicaid providers are not exempt, or if a ban is passed in Iowa, the establishments health care providers would be among the first to be affected.
“CHI Health, like health care systems across the country, requires a multitude of vaccinations as a condition of employment,” said Jeanette Wojtalewicz, Acting Chief Executive Officer, noting that the full list of vaccines can be found on the CDC website. “In 2021, CHI Health added the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccines required for all employees, regardless of position or patient contact. “
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There are exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, according to Denise McNitt, vice president of patient care services at CHI Health Mercy Hospital.
“There is an exemption process that employees can apply for if they believe they have a medical or religious reason to refrain from getting the vaccine,” she said.
CHI Health still doesn’t know how the standoff between the Biden administration and the court will end, Wojtalewicz said.
“We continue to monitor the changing legal landscape of federal courts,” she said. “What we can tell you is that to date, 97% of our workforce (12,000 employees) are either vaccinated or have benefited from a medical / religious exemption. Thirty-eight people (nurses, food service workers, office staff, etc.) have left CHI Health because of the need for vaccines. “
The Methodist Health System declined to comment on the possible Iowa ban or employers’ vaccination mandates.
COVID-19 has now caused an estimated 830,000 deaths in the United States, according to the New York Times and Our World in Data. Healthcare workers who have observed dying patients said it was a miserable way to die, with patients sometimes gasping for oxygen with their lungs unable to absorb it, according to various reports. Long-term effects can include breathing problems, heart complications, chronic kidney disease, stroke, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There have been 8,019 deaths and 641,727 cases in Iowa.
Jacobsen said the promoters of the bill are not anti-vax.
“We are just for medical freedom,” he said.
Governor Kim Reynolds and state GOP leaders have said they would like to wait and see how the issue plays out in court before moving forward with the legislation.
Supporters of the bill point out that COVID-19 vaccines can and do cause harmful effects in some people – sometimes serious.
One way to find out is to check out the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System information on the CDC website, available at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vaers.html.
The CDC is providing updates on the following serious side effects:
Anaphylaxis – an allergic reaction characterized by difficulty breathing which can be severe and sometimes fatal. The CDC says this has happened in about 5 people per million.
Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (Johnson & Johnson vaccine) – a rare event that causes blood clots in large blood vessels and low platelets. There have been 57 reports on this. A review of the reports indicated this was caused by the vaccine, the CDC said.
Guillain-Barre syndrome (Johnson & Johnson vaccine) – a rare disease in which the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. This is usually temporary, but some people suffer from permanent nerve damage. After the administration of 17.2 million doses, there were 283 preliminary reports – approximately 0.002% – of GBS, mainly in men 50 years of age or older.
Myocarditis and Pericarditis – Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer wall of the heart. Most cases can be treated with medication. VAERS has received 1,947 preliminary reports of myocarditis or pericarditis in people 30 years of age and under who have received COVID-19 vaccines.
Deaths – The FDA requires healthcare providers to report any deaths after COVID-19 vaccinations to VAERS, even though it is not clear whether the vaccine was the cause, the CDC website says. Reports of adverse events to VAERS after vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine has caused a health problem, according to the CDC. After 496 million vaccinations from December 14, 2020 to December 20, 2021, VAERS received 10,688 deaths.
An estimated 207 million U.S. residents are fully immunized, according to the CDC, with more than 515 million doses administered. About 62.4% of the American population has been vaccinated.
According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the state has a vaccination rate of 59.2%, with 1,839,852 people fully vaccinated. Pottawattamie County has a vaccination rate of 54.4%.
Learn more about the justice system by viewing the immunization warrants on page A3.