Local experts weigh in on Supreme Courts decision to block the federal vaccine mandate

NOW: Local experts weigh in on Supreme Courts decision to block the federal vaccine mandate

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The Supreme Court blocked the Biden administrations vaccine mandate this afternoon. The ruling comes just several days after it was put into effect — forcing large businesses to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all employees.

A proposed bill in the Indiana House could ban vaccine mandates from all employers in the state. But for now, experts tell ABC57 this decision leaves local businesses in limbo.

“There’s some employers that want to mandate it that may not be able to. There’s some that say absolutely no mandate that are happy you know from this. So, it’s almost been this political ping pong," said Jeff Rea, President and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber.

Business owners have been conflicted on how to best enforce the federal vaccine mandate.

According to Rhea, the biggest concern locally was the risk of employees quitting, rather than getting vaccinated.

While the Supreme Court ruled the policy will not be enforced, nationwide.

“Conservative states like Indiana likely will ban vaccine mandates or make them very difficult for employers to push through. They’ll be lots of exceptions, but in other states it’s likely there will be more mandates," said Nicolas Terry, Executive Director Center for Law and Health at Indiana University.

While mandates for private businesses could vary depending on where you live, the court ruled health care workers at facilities receiving federal funding will still be required to be fully vaccinated.

It’s still unclear what will happen at the state level later this year, but rea says for now he knows many business owners here in Michiana are planning to respect personal choice.

“I think that we’re back to they’re focusing on, on best practices. Most are gonna encourage and some will incent it," said Rea.

The Indiana General Assembly is expected to discuss potentially banning Hoosier employers from mandating vaccines, this March.

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