A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld its stay on President Joe Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for companies with at least 100 employees.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans issued the ruling and barred the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from enforcing the mandate, scheduled to take effect on January 4.

The appeals court on November 6 issued a stay on the order after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a challenge to the mandate directly to the court, along with the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and South Carolina.

The Justice Department asked the appeals court to lift the stay on Monday, saying it would “likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.”

According to a Gallup poll released in September, 56 percent of Americans favour vaccine mandates at their office or work site. At the same time, however, many U.S. workers strongly oppose vaccine mandates. (ANI/Xinhua)