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Federal vaccine mandate for health-care workers starts to take effect

Cristina Licup receives her coronavirus booster shot at her workplace, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York, on Sept. 27, 2021. (Seth Wenig/AP)
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Thursday is the deadline for health-care workers to get at least their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in much of the country, as the Biden administration’s mandate starts to take effect.

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Enforcement of the federal vaccine mandate begins in 25 states and the District of Columbia and will extend to the rest of the country in the coming weeks. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) staggered its deadlines after Republican-led states challenged the rules, leading to a patchwork of court rulings before the Supreme Court weighed in.

Justices narrowly backed the requirement for health-care workers while striking down Biden’s broader vaccination-or-testing rule for large employers.

The CMS mandate, which allows religious and medical exemptions, covers about 10 million workers at hospitals and nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding.

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