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Oklahoma AG celebrates suspension of vaccine mandate for Head Start teachers

A real COVID-19 vaccination record card issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
Bill Clark
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
A real COVID-19 vaccination record card issued by the Centers for Disease Control.

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 3-and 4-year-olds participate in it.

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.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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