Nearly 200 Minnesota and Wisconsin health-care workers have joined a federal lawsuit against their employers over vaccinations against the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
A long list of health systems and hospitals have been named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, as well as federal officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The lawsuit claims that requiring these health workers to be vaccinated violates their rights to religious freedom, human rights and other protections. It cites concerns over vaccine safety and potential side effects.
Federal regulators have said that three vaccines being used in the US are safe and highly effective against COVID-19. President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate in early September that covers nearly 100 million workers, including federal workers and health care workers.
All 188 plaintiffs in the Minnesota lawsuit are listed anonymously and the complaint says it is because of fear of reprisal from employers and others.
The plaintiffs include doctors, nurses and other workers, some of whom say they have previously tested positive for COVID-19.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in the US District Court of Minnesota.
The complaint asks the court to find a vaccine that violates both religious freedom and the US Constitution and to prevent the mandate from being implemented.