AMA urges courts to preserve federal contractor vaccination requirement2 min read
CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) is continuing its legal efforts in support of policies that require widespread COVID-19 vaccination. In a newly filed set of friend-of-the-court briefs Tuesday, the AMA urged the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits to stay lower court orders denying enforcement of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force’s Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.
The AMA-led amicus briefs in Kentucky v. Biden and Georgia v. Biden were joined by more than a dozen leading medical organizations that recognize COVID-19 as a grave danger to public health and support widespread vaccination requirements as the most effective strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefs include: American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, American Geriatrics Society, American Medical Women’s Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Society of Hematology, American Thoracic Society, Society of Interventional Radiology, and American Lung Association.
According to the amicus briefs, halting enforcement of the guidance requiring federal contractor vaccination would “severely and irreparably harm workers and undermine the public interest.” Backed by a body of well-regarded scientific evidence from rigorous clinical trials, vaccines provide a safe and effective way to protect against transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace and across the nation. No other measure has been shown to reduce the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 to the degree that vaccination does, which is why policies to encourage widespread vaccination are essential. According to the AMA’s brief, “other mitigation measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, remain important. They do not, however, provide the same level of protection against COVID-19 as does vaccination.”
The AMA has also filed several briefs in courts around the country in support of the emergency temporary standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect the health and safety of U.S. workers, families, and communities across the nation.
The AMA is represented in Kentucky v. Biden, Georgia v. Biden, and other cases relating to the federal vaccination efforts by Democracy Forward, a nonprofit legal organization founded in 2017 that litigates cases involving government action on behalf of organizations, individuals, and municipalities.