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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

Dec 16, 2021 - Health

CDC committee recommends saying mRNA COVID vaccines 'preferred' over J&J shots

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Covid-19 vaccine awaits administration at a vaccination clinic in Los Angeles, California on December 15, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A key U.S. CDC advisory committee voted Thursday to recommend calling mRNA vaccines the preferred COVID vaccine option over Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for adults due to concerns over increase risk for blood clots.

Driving the news: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was considering new data from the Johnson & Johnson about how often a rare, but severe blood clot linked to their vaccine occurs.

Dec 17, 2021 - Health

More than 100 Marines booted for refusing the COVID vaccine

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. Marine Corps announced Thursday it has discharged 103 individuals from its ranks for refusing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Other military branches have begun addressing service members who defy the vaccination order amidst growing concern over another wave of infections fueled by the Omicron variant.

How the little-known B and T cells can protect against COVID variants

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The body's long-term immune responses help to defend against emerging coronavirus variants even as antibody immunity is waning in people who are vaccinated or who've had prior COVID-19 infections.

The big picture: Variants are testing the success of the COVID-19 vaccines, as antibody levels typically drop after peaking from infection or vaccination.