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Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

About 50 Detroit health care workers have filed a lawsuit against a hospital system, claiming its upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate violates the Fourteenth Amendment's protection of "personal autonomy and bodily integrity."

Why it matters: This is the second major legal test concerning vaccine mandates in the health care sector, after an unsuccessful lawsuit claiming a Texas hospital's policy requiring all staff be vaccinated against the virus was unlawful.

Driving the news: The suit filed against Henry Ford Health System cites unverified reports from the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System(VAERS) — claiming that in the U.S. over 13,000 vaccinated people have died from the virus and more than 30,000 others have been left with permanent disabilities and life-threatening events.

Of note: The suit, filed Monday, doesn't mention a July 21 CDC website update stating that reports of deaths "after COVID-19 vaccination are rare" — with only 6,207 such fatalities recorded from Dec. 14, 2020, to July 19, 2021, after 369 million doses administered.

  • "FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause," the CDC states.

What they're saying: A Henry Ford Health System spokesperson said in an emailed statement Tuesday: "We remain confident that vaccination is the most powerful tool we all have against the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • "Beyond that, we cannot comment on pending litigation."

What to watch: The hospital system's vaccine requirement is due to take effect Friday.

Go deeper

15 hours ago - Health

Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years

Expand chart
Data: Annals of Internal Medicine; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The pandemic slashed U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years, with Black and Hispanic Americans losing more than twice as many years per capita compared to white Americans, according to research published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: The data show that despite reports of older and more vulnerable populations assuming many of the deaths, young people with above-average life expectancies, including Black and Hispanic communities, were not spared.

24 hours ago - Health

U.S. COVID death toll surpasses 1918 flu fatalities

White flags are seen on the National Mall on Sept. 18, honoring Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 epidemic. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

The recorded number COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has now surpassed the known number of fatalities from the 1918 flu pandemic.

The big picture: The U.S. has now marked more than 676,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the 1918 pandemic killed about about 675,000 people.

23 hours ago - Health

Biden to get booster shot on camera

Photo: Saul Loeb/ AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will receive his COVID booster shot on camera once it's fully approved for Americans ages 65 and older, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: A federal advisory panel unanimously voted last week to recommend that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorize a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine for people over the age of 65 and those at higher risk of infection.