Cuomo Says All Healthcare Workers Must Get Covid-19 Vaccination

All healthcare workers in New York State will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Gov Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday, effective Sept. 27.

The order applies to staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities,  including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, with limited exceptions for religious or medical reasons.  

To date, 75% of the state’s ~450,000 hospital workers, 74% of the state’s ~30,000 adult care facility workers, and 68% of the state’s ~145,500 nursing home workers have completed their vaccine series. Cuomo’s office said the incoming administration of Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will succeed Cuomo after he leaves office under a cloud invoving sex-harassment complaints, had been briefed.

Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director of Huntington Hospital, welcomed the announcement.

“This is a terrific step by our state leadership and ensures that every patient and family member that wherever they go to seek care, the providers will be vaccinated. There will be no gaps.
“It’s  critically important that we protect the vulnerable,he said. “This will help raise the total vaccine numbers in our communities and reduce the mutation of the virus and the spread. “We at Huntington Hospital are above 80 percent (vaccinated) and this will help push us over” the top.
He said some people are reluctant to receive the vaccination because of concerns about their effect on pregnancy and fertility, but a CDC report last week said, “The benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy and that here is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.”
Cuomo said, “When COVID ambushed New York last year, New Yorkers acted, while the Federal Government denied the problem. Now, the Delta variant is spreading across the nation and across New York — new daily positives are up over 1000% over the last six weeks, and over 80 percent of recent positives in New York State are linked to the Delta variant. We must now act again to stop the spread. Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine. We have always followed the science, and we’re doing so again today, with these recommendations by Dr. Zucker and federal and state health experts. But we need to do more.”

Cuomo also announced that the Department of Health has authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for New Yorkers with compromised immune systems, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation last week. Eligible New Yorkers can receive their third dose 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series, effective immediately.

The CDC is currently recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose, including people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medications to suppress the immune system;
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system;
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection;
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, cancer chemotherapy that causes sever immunosuppression, or other medications that may suppress your immune response.

New Yorkers should contact their healthcare provider about whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them at this time.

 

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