New York to Mandate Covid-19 Boosters for Healthcare Workers

- Advertisement -

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new requirement awaits approval from state public-health panels

- Advertisement -

The new mandate is pending approval by the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council, which will meet Tuesday to consider the rule, the Democratic governor said. Ms Hochul said she is hopeful it will be approved and will be effective immediately.

- Advertisement -

The requirement allows for certain medical exemptions and does not include the option to get tested, Ms Hochul said. Workers will need to get their shot within two weeks.

A vaccine mandate for New York health workers went into effect in September. At the time, 92% of the state’s approximately 665,000 nursing-home and hospital workers met vaccine requirements. Last month, the US Supreme Court rejected requests for religious exemptions from mandates by state health workers.

- Advertisement -

“We don’t think it will be that level of challenge when it was a new idea,” she said of her expectations for potential pushback from healthcare workers. “We think it’s worth it to ask them to do the right thing one more time.”

There is growing, though still early, evidence that a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine elicits a stronger immune response to enhance protection against the Omicron variant. Rapidly spreading tensions have fueled record-high US case numbers in recent days and more strained hospital systems across the country.

Many employers and institutions are now weighing what it means to be fully immunized against COVID-19 at this stage of the pandemic, and whether that definition should include a booster shot.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said last month that state health workers and high-risk workers would need to receive boosters by February 1. New Mexico issued a similar mandate, citing a lack of staff hospital beds. Workers already required to receive vaccinations — which include employees in health care settings, schools and the governor’s office — are required to receive booster shots by Jan.

Some universities and businesses have even announced booster requirements as the Omicron version spread.

In New York, fewer residents are seeing dire consequences during the current surge of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations than in previous waves. However, the Omicron-driven wave has put pressure on exhausted healthcare workers, many of whom are working during the holiday and testing positive for Covid-19 themselves.

More than 11,500 patients with hospital beds filled with Covid-19 in New York on Thursday, according to data shared by Ms Hochul.

Write to Jennifer Calfas at [email protected]


- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

DMCA / Correction Notice

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox