new york vaccine mandate

NY Booster Mandate for Health Care Workers Delayed 3 Months Due to Staffing Concerns

New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said that the decision to drop enforcement of the mandate reflects the reality that booster rates remain low, particularly in nursing homes

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What to Know

  • New York will not enforce its mandate requiring health care workers to get COVID-19 boosters in light of concerns about staffing shortages, state health officials said Friday.
  • Gov. Kathy Hochul pointed to a troubling rise in breakthrough infections when she announced the mandate in January. Her administration set a deadline of Feb. 21.
  • But state health commissioner Mary Bassett said Friday that the decision to drop enforcement of the mandate reflects the reality that booster rates remain low, particularly in nursing homes.

New York will not immediately enforce its mandate requiring health care workers to get COVID-19 boosters in light of concerns about staffing shortages, state health officials said Friday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul pointed to a troubling rise in breakthrough infections when she announced the mandate in January. Her administration set a deadline of Feb. 21.

But state health commissioner Mary Bassett said Friday that the decision to drop enforcement of the mandate for the near term reflects the reality that booster rates remain low, particularly in nursing homes.

“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,” Bassett said in a statement.

Health officials said that instead of taking effect Monday, there will be a grace period of at least three months for workers who have not received their vaccine booster.

LeadingAge New York CEO Jim Clyne praised New York’s move to halt enforcement of the mandate as “smart.”

“Three days were not going to be enough time to get enough boosted staff members to serve the residents and patients we have to serve,” he said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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