As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) interim final rule (the “Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) was effectively stayed nationwide on November 30, 2021, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (the “Louisiana Court”). In yet another twist to the ongoing legal battles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit lifted the nationwide stay and held that the Louisiana Court only had authority to block the vaccine mandate in the fourteen plaintiff states that brought suit in that court. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.
Due to the litigation in the Eastern District of Missouri, as reported here, enforcement of the vaccine mandate is also blocked in ten other states: Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. In total, the vaccine mandate under the Rule is now stayed in twenty-four states, but is now in effect in the remaining twenty-six states.