What We're Reading: Booster Shots for All Adults; Vaccine Mandates Suspended; Previewing Landmark Abortion Case

The CDC expands its recommendation on booster shots to all adults aged 18 and older amid Omicron variant concerns; a federal judge temporarily blocks COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health workers in 10 states; the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on Mississippi’s landmark abortion case tomorrow.

CDC Recommends Booster Shots For All Adults

Amid concerns of the novel Omicron variant, the CDC has expanded its recommendation on COVID-19 booster shots for all adults aged 18 and older. Reported by The Associated Press, the new recommendation comes after the agency’s approval of boosters for all adults, despite only recommended them for people aged 50 and older or those in high-risk areas. Pfizer is also expected to request authorization of its booster shot for 16- and 17-year-olds this week. In a technical brief yesterday, the World Health Organization said the global risk from the Omicron variant was very high, based on early evidence, and warned of future surges in cases.

Vaccine Mandates for Health Workers Suspended in 10 States

As reported by ABC News, COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health workers were temporarily blocked by a federal judge yesterday in 10 states that had challenged the law. Ruling that CMS had no clear authority from Congress to enact the mandate for participating providers in Medicare and Medicaid, the preliminary injunction applies to Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. In other news, the White House Office of Management and Budget announced yesterday that federal workers who do not comply with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, which took effect November 22, will not face suspension or disciplinary action until January.

Supreme Court to Begin Abortion Case Hearings Tomorrow

Reported by CBS News, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments tomorrow on the controversial Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. With a 6-to-3 conservative majority, the Supreme Court’s decision on the abortion case, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will mark the first major challenge to abortion rights since the 1992’s Planned Parenthood v Casey, which ruled that states cannot ban abortions before viability. Pro-abortion rights advocates have warned that a decision upholding the Mississippi law could lead to further challenges to the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.