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Ontario County joins others pushing back against COVID-19 booster shot mandate for healthcare workers

Ontario County has joined nearly a dozen other counties across New York requesting Governor Kathy Hochul reconsider the newly-minted COVID-19 booster shot mandate for healthcare workers.

They say, along with existing mandate-driven healthcare worker shortages, that this will exacerbate the problem- making it worse for local hospitals.

“As with the original vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, each county leader represented here fully supports the value of vaccinations and has worked tirelessly to administer vaccinations to our citizens,” the letter says. “While we fully support the importance of vaccinations to help protect our communities against COVID-19, our hospital systems are facing severe staffing shortages coupled with increasing patient loads caused by the omicron surge. We have significant concerns that if even a handful of healthcare workers are dismissed for their refusal to receive the booster within the designated timeframe, it could exacerbate an already tenuous situation.”

Hochul cited a number of factors while announcing the booster shot mandate, which means any healthcare worker who is currently eligible for a booster shot must receive one in the coming weeks.

Daily cases have begun coming down in New York State, but it doesn’t appear likely that Governor Hochul will undo the mandate, now that it’s been announced.