A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday it will not reinstate President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees as it reviews a lower court’s order placing a hold on the mandate.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas also stated it is expediting its review of the case. 

The mandate applies to nearly 3.5 million federal workers who were required to be fully vaccinated by the end of November, though the government said it would offer counseling to vaccine-hesitant employees before disciplining or firing them.

In early December, the Office of Management and Budget said the federal workforce was in 97.2% compliance with the mandate.

In January, a federal judge in Texas blocked the administration from enforcing the requirement, arguing that it was an illegitimate extension of presidential authority.

In January, the Supreme Court blocked the administration’s bid to mandate vaccination for all employees of companies with 100 or more workers. The vaccination mandate for healthcare workers remains in effect.