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COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers is not being lifted, Gov. Hochul says

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Govenror Kathy Hochul says healthcare workers in New York will be required to continue getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Even as other pandemic-era regulations like wearing face coverings inside healthcare facilities is ended.

The ongoing vaccination requirement aligns with federal policy set by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.

“When you walk into a health care facility, a hospital or a nursing home, you should have the right to know that an individual who is taking care of you is not going to contract a virus and pass it on to you,” Governor Hochul said. She pointed to the existing vaccination rules for health care workers, such as receiving flu shots, as a reason for continuing the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

The mandate for wearing face masks inside health care facilities was officially lifted in New York on Sunday, leading to debates among hospital leaders and union officials in the health care sector. Despite the change, health care workers in the state will still be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

New York health officials have been working to bolster the state’s health care workforce over the past year by offering bonuses and providing more training and degree programs at public colleges and universities. Governor Hochul has set a goal of increasing the state’s health care workforce by 20% over the next five years.

The loss of health care workers in recent years has been attributed to burnout caused by the pandemic and attrition due to the vaccine requirement. Despite these challenges, Governor Hochul remains committed to ensuring the health and safety of both health care workers and patients through the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination requirement.