The healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine mandate remains in place, despite a vote by Senate Republicans to strike the regulation.
GOP senators using the Congressional Review Act on Wednesday voted 49-44 to eliminate the vaccine mandate. Six Democratic senators missed the vote, which allowed the Republican lawmakers to push the effort through.
The Congressional Review Act serves as a tool that Congress may use to overturn rules issued by federal agencies. Though the Senate can fast track a vote process using the act, the same cannot be done in the House.
Lawmakers believe, even if a similar measure passed the House, President Joe Biden would veto the effort, The Hill reported.
The COVID-19 vaccine mandate applies to roughly 10.4 million healthcare workers at 76,000 medical facilities, according to the Biden administration. Long-term care providers have said mandates make it harder for them to find and keep workers but have steadily encouraged employees to get vaccinated.
Enforcement of the vaccine mandate began in mid-January for states that didn’t challenge the rule. The second deadline for states that did challenge the rule, excluding Texas, was in mid-February. The final compliance deadline is March 15.
Currently, 84.4% of nursing home staff have been vaccinated nationwide, according to the latest federal data.