Court upholds administration’s stance on HPV vaccine

A US federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the stay against Vice President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring employers to offer all three doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine for cervical cancer or face penalties in the form of tax dollars.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judge’s decision that the issue of the order was not properly briefed before the executive order. Judge Milan Smith Jr. who wrote the opinion did not indicate whether the court agreed with the order’s parameters or not.

Biden’s order stemmed from an announcement last year by President Donald Trump’s health secretary, Alex Azar, who said the Trump administration would take steps to implement expanded access to the HPV vaccine.

The rule was expected to first affect Title VII to protect women’s workplace rights, and would implement human resources regulations promulgated by the federal government that would provide business entities an avenue to require health insurance plans to cover all three doses of the vaccine against the sexually transmitted virus.

Biden’s order did not grant the exemption and has since taken effect, taking effect last week. Azar’s guidelines mandating the inoculation took effect in February.

The US Department of Health and Human Services is expected to circulate guidance outlining how businesses will be able to comply with Biden’s new executive order. And the procedure will be similar to prior HHS immunization regulations.

The decision on whether the administration can reissue the guidelines without a formal mandate or a stay remains unclear.

Biden’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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