Healthcare

New York to mandate boosters for health care workers

AP-Matt Rourke

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Friday announced a new mandate requiring all health care workers to get a COVID-19 booster shot. 

Hochul said during a news conference that the state’s health care workers will be required to get the booster shot for the coronavirus within two weeks of eligibility.

Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for their booster two months after their first shot. Those who received the two-shot regimen of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are eligible for their booster five months and six months after their first two jabs, respectively. 

“It’s the best way to protect themselves and to protect the people they care for,” Hochul said of the vaccinations. “That’s why it’s time and important to now add on a continuation of this effort to protect people, to protect the workers and to protect the integrity of our healthcare system.”

Hochul said she consulted New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett on the decision. Bassett will discuss the new mandate with the Public Health and Health Planning Council, an independent body, on Tuesday. The governor expects a “swift approval” of the mandate.

The new booster mandate builds upon Hochul’s initial vaccine mandate for health care workers in September. The state has fully vaccinated more than 72 percent of its total population to date, according to state data.

California and New Mexico are also requiring health care workers get their vaccine booster for the disease, according to NBC New York.

The governor’s latest directive comes amid a steep surge in coronavirus cases in New York and across the U.S. largely fueled by the omicron variant. The state has maintained a daily average of more than 69,000 cases and 360 infections per 100,000 people, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

On average, there has been a daily average of 102 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the newspaper. 

Hochul said the booster mandate was the state’s effort to push “all those levers” possible to save lives during the pandemic.

“We need to make sure we are doing everything we can,” she said.

Tags booster shots Healthcare healthcare workers Joe Biden Kathy Hochul mandate Mary Bassett New York New York City omicron Pandemic Public Health and Health Planning Council Vaccines

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