By Miriam Gursky
(CNN) – The Trump administration is asking a federal appeals court to reinstate a rule that would require every American working at least one hour a day for one company to be vaccinated against whooping cough.
The rule was implemented under the Obama administration, but in 2016 the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck it down.
The D.C. Circuit Court said the rule was too expensive and that the exemption process may discriminate against workers. As a result, the mandate was struck down.
The Obama-era rule required companies with more than 50 employees to mandate vaccination for whooping cough among workers who work more than one hour a day for one company, a worker whose job requires flu vaccination or a worker whose work activity may pose exposure to whooping cough.
In 2016, Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Senators Benjamin Cardin of Maryland and Al Franken of Minnesota in a congressional brief calling for the reinstatement of the vaccine mandate.
“With pernicious infection rates of whooping cough and pertussis at decades-long highs, the federal government must step in to protect workers who unknowingly face higher risks of pertussis-related illnesses,” they wrote.
“The Trump administration should not leave employers in the dark as to how their employees could be at risk for vaccine-preventable illness; workers in the work place should be afforded this protection.”
In November 2014, new federal statistics found an increasing number of people in their 50s were being treated for pertussis, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Between September 2010 and August 2014, there were 2,530 cases reported in adults aged 50 and over; in the same period, an additional 9,815 adults over 50 years old were diagnosed with pertussis.
In August 2015, the CDC reported that there were nearly 46,000 cases of whooping cough in the United States in 2015, up from about 19,000 the year before.