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Oklahoma AG celebrates suspension of vaccine mandate for Head Start teachers

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Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor touted a victory in federal court over the weekend that suspends a vaccine mandate for Head Start workers.

In a tweet, O’Connor called it “Another win in our fight against Biden’s unconstitutional mandates!”

Head Start is a federally funded program for low income children. In Oklahoma, roughly 13,000 three-and four-year-olds participate in it. COVID-19 vaccines are not yet available for those aged four years and younger.

The Biden administration had said that people who work in the programs must be vaccinated by the end of January and children must wear masks while participating. But a group of 24 attorneys general, including O'Connor, sued.

A Louisiana-based, Trump-appointed federal judge ruled the mandate was unconstitutional and suspended it. The decision is likely to be appealed.

The suit is one of a handful O’Connor has put forth. He was given $10 million by Oklahoma’s legislature to sue the federal government during the last session.

And though he falsely said in a December press conference that there were questions about the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines, federal regulators have repeatedly said the available coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective. Getting vaccinated greatly reduces the risk of being hospitalized or dying from the coronavirus.

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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