Federal vaccine mandate countdown for unvaccinated health care workers begins

The countdown clock for unvaccinated workers in health care facilities has begun as Thursday marked the day they must have their first dose of vaccine in order to meet the deadline of a federal mandate to be fully vaccinated.

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The deadline began in 25 states and the District of Columbia on Thursday with the start date for other states coming in the next few weeks.

The deadlines for the vaccines were staggered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after those states brought court challenges to the mandate set out by the Biden administration.

If health care workers do not get vaccinated, the facility they work at risks losing Medicare and Medicaid funding.

These states had a Thursday start date with a deadline of Feb. 28:

· California

· Colorado

· Connecticut

· Delaware

· District of Columbia

· Florida

· Hawaii

· Illinois

· Maine

· Maryland

· Massachusetts

· Michigan

· Minnesota

· Nevada

· New Jersey

· New Mexico

· New York

· North Carolina

· Oregon

· Pennsylvania

· Rhode Island

· Tennessee

· Vermont

· Virginia

· Wisconsin

These states have a March 15 deadline for full vaccination:

· Alabama

· Alaska

· Arizona

· Arkansas

· Georgia

· Idaho

· Indiana

· Iowa

· Kansas

· Kentucky

· Louisisana

· Mississipppi

· Missouri

· Montana

· Nebraska

· New Hampshire

· North Dakota

· Ohio

· Oklahoma

· South Carolina

· South Dakota

· Utah

· West Virginia

· Wyoming

One state, Texas, has a March 21 deadline.

The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly backed the requirement for health-care workers to be vaccinated. The court struck down a similar plan for mandatory vaccination of employers with more than 100 workers.

The mandate for health care workers covers about 10 million workers at hospitals and nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding.

It also allows for exemptions due to medical or religious grounds.