AdventHealth, a large hospital in Florida, announced that it has suspended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The hospital said it still encouraged vaccination but would no longer force its 83,000 employees to get the vaccine.
“Based on scientific evidence and what we see in our hospitals every day, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at reducing both the risk of becoming infected and the level of harm in the case of a breakthrough infection,” AdventHealth said in a statement. “As part of our commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our team members, patients and communities, we strongly encourage all of our team members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
It announcement comes after legislation from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that bans private businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their employees.
“We welcome AdventHealth’s decision to comply with state law to protect Floridians’ jobs and to ensure our state’s healthcare system can continue functioning smoothly,” said DeSantis’ office in a statement.
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it was suspending President Biden’s vaccine mandate after a federal court blocked enforcement pending review.
“On November 29 and November 30, 2021, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued preliminary injunctions against the implementation and enforcement of the Interim Final Rule against Medicare-and-Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers,” CMS said in a memo. “Between the two of them, these injunctions cover all states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories.”
“While CMS remains confident in its authority to protect the health and safety of patients in facilities certified by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, it has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of this rule pending future developments in the litigation,” the memo continued. “Accordingly, while these preliminary injunctions are in effect, surveyors must not survey providers for compliance with the requirements of the Interim Final Rule.”