Attorneys general in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio joined more than a dozen states last week in challenging the legality of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ mandate of COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers.

Under the CMS rule, staff at skilled nursing facilities and other facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4. 

“We have seen the challenges nursing homes and other facilities have had in retaining and recruiting staff. This mandate, and the walkouts that will likely follow, will only make those challenges worse, leaving vulnerable Ohioans without adequate care,” Buckeye State Attorney General Dave Yost said in a press release.

“We are already seeing worker shortages in the healthcare sector.  Losing more because of this mandate would place an additional strain on many of the commonwealth’s healthcare facilities and limit the services they are able to provide to Kentuckians,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a separate release.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita joined the lawsuit the previous week.

“No pandemic gives President Biden the authority to ignore the Constitution and the rule of law,” Rokita said in a release.

The three states join the filing including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.