All staff working at hospitals and long-term health facilities in New York will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The workers at these facilities will need to be vaccinated by September 27, according to guidance released by the state on Monday.
According to the state Department of Health, roughly 75% of the state's hospital workers, 74% of adult care facility workers and 68% of nursing home workers have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series.
"When COVID ambushed New York last year, New Yorkers acted, while the Federal Government denied the problem," Cuomo said in a statement. "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."
There will be exceptions to the mandate for those with religious or medical reasons, the release stated.
The governor's office said Lt. Kathy Hochul's administration was briefed on the decision.
The governor 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. Those eligible include those 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 health care provider about whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.