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Large hospital system with 48K workers in New York mandates COVID vaccine, stirring debate about other businesses doing it

Earlier this week the NewYork-Presbyterian hospital network announced that it would mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for its 48,000 workers across the state.

While it’s the first example of it in New York, the expectation is that other businesses- both those in healthcare and beyond- will begin making such requirements this summer.

“I do expect other hospitals will follow suit and frankly other private businesses will do the same thing,” said Patricia Kuszler, a University of Washington professor specializing in public health law. She recently spoke with Gannett about the prospect of seeing this play out in larger scale across the state. “Will they face pushback? Of course they will. It just depends on how much they feel their business will be at risk of outbreaks if employees are not vaccinated.”

Several healthcare worker unions have voiced opposition to vaccine mandates, suggesting it would not motivate vaccination- only discourage it. However, it’s hard to see a path forward for vaccine opposers- if they want to maintain employment under those circumstances.

Data shows that 72% of hospital workers and 63% of nursing home workers are either partly or fully-vaccinated.