Rhode Island Finally Drops COVID Vaccine Mandate That Forced Doctor with Bell's Palsy Out of Work
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A Rhode Island doctor who was denied a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine has finally prevailed months after the state had essentially forced him to close his practice.
Dr. Stephen Skoly, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, had been battling the state since the mandate went into effect on Oct. 1, which required him to shut down, The Ocean State Current reports.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonprofit civil rights organization, filed a lawsuit in February on behalf of Skoly against the Rhode Island Health Department and Gov. Daniel McKee (D-RI).
The complaint points out that the state was "acting unconstitutionally and being irrational and arbitrary by denying his medical exception from the vaccine."
It also mentions the doctor's history of Bell's palsy and notes the "scientifically demonstrated association between the COVID-19 vaccination and the onset of Bell's palsy paralysis."
Skoly said the state rejected his exemption request because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not list Bell's palsy as a known side effect of the vaccine, according to WPRI News.
The state's health department dropped the order mandating the vaccine on Friday.
"On March 11, 2022, the vaccine regulation was withdrawn by the (Rhode Island Health Department) and is no longer of legal force and effect," the agreement reads.
"By operation of law, withdrawal of the vaccine regulation nullifies the order's direction that respondent (Skoly) cease professional conduct as a health care provider unless and until he has complied with the terms and conditions. The compliance order is withdrawn. The request for an administrative hearing is withdrawn by the respondent." In other words, Dr. Skoly is finally being allowed to reopen his practice.
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