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A federal court in Florida has temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate directed at federal contractors, marking a small win for the sunshine state as litigation over the matter continues.

Florida is among 19 states that sued the Biden administration in late October over the federal vaccine mandate for government contractors, outlined under Executive Order 14042 that President Joe Biden issued on Sept. 9.

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The executive order requires almost all federal employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, including civilian federal employees and contractors. Regular COVID-19 testing wouldn’t be an option, but religious or medical exemptions from vaccination may be granted.

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U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday on Wednesday granted a motion by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody for a preliminary injunction. Florida had filed its case on Oct. 28, naming Biden, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, six other officials, and five federal agencies as defendants.


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