An Alabama hospital will not enforce an employee vaccine mandate no matter what Joe Biden’s administration thinks.
UAB Birmingham Hospital temporarily refuses to force workers to be immunized against COVID-19.
“President Biden issued an executive order on September 9, indicating that federal rules and regulations will be issued in the coming weeks that will require COVID vaccines for workers at health care facilities–that receive Medicare or Medicaid dollars,” UAB spokesman Tyler Greer said according to Al.com.
Management will wait for further federal announcements before making a final decision.
“UAB Health System will wait for the detailed federal guidance to develop a replacement vaccine policy in order to ensure full compliance with federal law,” Greer said according to the Western Journal.
The Birmingham-based Alabama Center for Law and Liberty (ACLL) is concerned the hospital could have broken state law by requiring health care workers to be vaccinated.
The law in question prohibits certain vaccine requirements from certain government entities, universities, and businesses. It does not prevent private companies from requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The law states, in relevant part[s,] ‘A state or local government entity, or any of its officers or agents, may not … require the publication or sharing of immunization records or similar health information for an individual,” ACLL said in a statement. “The Supreme Court of Alabama has recognized, UAB Hospital is a state-run hospital.”
This is one argument for why UAB Hospital cannot require employees to disclose whether they have been vaccinated or not.
“We commend UAB Health System and its affiliates for changing the policy and respecting the rights of its employees,” ACLL president Matt Clark said in the statement. “Since the long-term effects of vaccines are still unknown, the state of Alabama has decided that using the power of government to force people to be vaccinated against their will is not a legitimate option.”
Meanwhile, state Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) questioned the legality of vaccine requirements. He is concerned about recent privacy breach complaints.
“Healthcare employees … believe their COVID-19 immunization status was obtained by their employers through the ImmPRINT registry for the purpose of verifying compliance with the employer’s immunization requirement,” Marshall said. “The vaccine mandate is unprecedented in its audacity and unlawful in its application [and] the Biden administration knows this full well–the state of Alabama will not allow such an authoritarian power grab to go unchecked.”