State Watch

New York won’t enforce COVID-19 vaccine booster mandate for health care workers

New York on Friday announced it would not enforce the state’s COVID-19 vaccine booster mandate for health care workers amid concerns over possible staffing issues.

Last month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced that the state would require all health care workers to get a COVID-19 booster as the state faced a surge of infections. That mandate was set to go into effect on Monday.

However, New York state officials acknowledged on Friday the requirement could lead to staffing shortages and said they would not enforce it, though they would reassess booster vaccination progress among health care workers in three months to see if new steps needed to be employed.

“The vaccine and booster are critical tools to keep both healthcare workers and their patients safe, and we continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose when eligible,” State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement

“While we are making progress with 75% of staff received or are willing to receive their booster, the reality is that not enough healthcare workers will be boosted by next week’s requirement in order to avoid substantial staffing issues in our already overstressed healthcare system. That is why we are announcing additional efforts to work closely with healthcare facilities and ensure that our healthcare workforce is up to date on their doses,” she added.

Those efforts include directly providing boosters to health care settings, according to the state’s health department.

The department also noted that health care employees still had to abide the state’s original vaccine requirement.

Tags booster COVID-19 Kathy Hochul mandate New York

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