New York Mandates Vaccines for Healthcare Workers in the State

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - AUGUST 14: A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccination dose at a popup vaccination clinic at Maple Leaf Bar on August 14, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hospitalizations in the state for COVID-19 passed another record yesterday to 2,907 patients. More than ninety percent of Louisiana's hospitalized …
Mario Tama/Getty

New York is mandating healthcare workers in the state to get vaccinated for the Chinese coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Monday.

All healthcare workers, including hospital workers and staffers at long-term care facilities, will be forced to get vaccinated by September 27, with limited exceptions. According to the governor’s press release, the State Department of Health “will issue Section 16 Orders requiring all hospital[s], LTCF, and nursing homes to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccinations, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.”

According to the state’s data, a majority of the state’s hospital workers, 75 percent, have finished their vaccine series, as have 68 percent of nursing home workers.

“We must now act again to stop the spread. Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine,” Cuomo said in a statement, claiming that his administration has “always followed the science.”

“And we’re doing so again today, with these recommendations by Dr. Zucker and federal and state health experts. But we need to do more,” he said, touting his plea for businesses to discriminate against unvaccinated individuals by denying them entry to indoor establishments.

“I have strongly urged private businesses to implement vaccinated-only admission policies, and school districts to mandate vaccinations for teachers,” he said.

A sign asking patrons to wear a face mask is seen at the entrance of a restaurant in midtownin New York. People will be required to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues beginning September 13. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

“Neither will occur without the state legally mandating the actions — private businesses will not enforce a vaccine mandate unless it’s the law, and local school districts will be hesitant to make these challenging decisions without legal direction,” he added.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker praised the vaccine mandate, contending it will “help close the vaccination gap and reduce the spread of the Delta variant.”

“I want to thank all New York State’s healthcare workers for stepping up once again and showing our state that getting vaccinated is safe, easy, and most importantly, effective,” he added.

This month, California became the first state to mandate healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus. They have until September 30 to complete the vaccination series. Like New York’s order, there are limited exceptions. People can be exempt based on religious beliefs or a qualifying medical reason. Those who receive an exemption will be subject to vigorous testing protocols and must wear a mask.

Protests have since popped up across the Golden State in opposition to the vaccine mandate.

“I am not OK with my friends and colleagues needing to make a choice or else they lose their job,” one Sacramento nurse Carly Rinaldi, said. “I’m not comfortable with going to work with whatever reduction of workforce is not going to come to work with me after the mandate date is implemented.”

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