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Ricketts orders agencies not to follow vaccine mandates

October 29, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has ordered state agencies under his direct control not to follow any federal coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Ricketts announced the order Friday, casting the federal mandate as a violation of personal freedom and government overreach. The mandate generally applies to private-sector employees as well as health care workers and federal contractors, but many employers are still waiting for more specific details from the federal government.

Ricketts has repeatedly encouraged people to get vaccinated, but said he opposes mandates. The state has used its lack of a vaccine requirement in job advertisements for in-demand health care professionals.

Attorney General Doug Peterson, a fellow Republican, announced Friday that Nebraska is part of a 10-state lawsuit challenging the federal mandate in court.