The new mandate was met with praise
As more cases of the extremely contagious Delta variety spread across the state, health workers in New York have been required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York issued a statement on Monday stating that all staff in public and private hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities should receive their first dose by September 27. Cuomo stated in a statement published by the New York Daily News, “Our health-care heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variation and the vaccine.” According to state data obtained by the news outlet, 75 percent of hospital employees, 74 percent of adult care facility employees, and 68 percent of nursing home employees have received the vaccinations. Cuomo’s directive was issued under Section 16 of the Public Health Law, which grants the state Health Department the ability to make emergency regulations. Those with medical or religious reasons, however, will continue to be exempt from Cuomo’s decree.
Various medical and hospital groups around New York applauded the regulation, claiming that it will increase worker wellbeing during the pandemic. “New York’s mandate will assist hospitals and other health-care providers offer the finest treatment for patients while also keeping their personnel and communities safe,” said Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association. In the meanwhile, the state has approved the distribution of booster shots to New Yorkers with impaired immune systems. After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved booster doses for immunocompromised patients, the approval was granted. In a statement released last week, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said, “Today’s approval allows clinicians to increase immunity in some immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19.”