Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect for NY Health Care Workers

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Sept. 27, 2021 – Health attraction workers crossed New York authorities awoke to a caller world Tuesday – the time each of them indispensable person astatine slightest 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to proceed to work.

As the state’s caller vaccine mandate took effect, an estimated 70,000 retired of 450,000 wellness attraction workers stay unvaccinated and retired of compliance, according to data released connected Sept. 22.

To assistance negociate immoderate staffing shortfalls, Gov. Kathy Hochul precocious Monday signed a six-page executive order declaring a statewide emergency. The bid allows wellness attraction workers from different parts of the state to temporarily capable bare positions and lets the authorities to deploy the National Guard if needed.

The effects of the mandate person already been felt passim the state. In immoderate areas, for example, inpatient elective surgeries person been postponed owed to unit shortages.

In New York City, astir 5,000 employees astatine the city’s 11 nationalist acute-care hospitals stay unvaccinated (out of a full of 43,000 employees), Mitchell Katz, MD, caput of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal wellness strategy successful the U.S., said astatine a news conference Monday.

While those who chose not to get vaccinated were placed connected unpaid permission — they tin instrumentality erstwhile they’re successful compliance —Katz assured New Yorkers that “all of our hospitals and assemblage wellness clinics are unfastened for attraction without interruption.”

Early mentation for the mandate appears to person made a quality successful immoderate places.

In Syracuse, Upstate University Hospital is closing much than fractional of its operating rooms successful anticipaton of a unit shortage acknowledgment to the mandate, the website reported.

But successful Buffalo, Shirley Johnson, main objective operations serviceman astatine Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, said that 97% of its 3,700-member unit is afloat vaccinated and that less than 40 employees volition person announcement that they volition beryllium incapable to proceed moving until they’re vaccinated.

“We began engaging with unit weeks earlier the mandate,” Johnson told WebMD. “Because of this, we’ve made nary adjustments to our objective operations and we haven’t had to trim our operating country volumes oregon bring successful other unit to enactment our work.”

For Johnson, the mandate is simply a necessity.

“We are seeing breakthrough COVID successful the assemblage and an summation successful COVID wrong Erie County,” she says. “We service crab patients, a vulnerable, high-risk diligent population. We wanted to bash the close happening for our assemblage truthful kudos to New York State for supporting the wellness attraction community.”

Dara Kass, MD, an exigency country doc and subordinate prof of exigency medicine astatine Columbia University Medical Center successful New York City, agrees with Johnson.

“As wellness attraction workers, we consciousness a consciousness of solidarity with the full wellness attraction workforce successful our authorities being vaccinated,” she says. “We besides deliberation it’s precise important that we pb by example.”

At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital successful New York City, much than 99% of the hospital’s 48,000 employees are vaccinated and the less than 250 who chose not to comply are nary longer employed, according to Alexandra Langan, manager of media relations.

Ultimately, Erin Cornell, an ICU caregiver astatine NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, worries astir anyone who remains unvaccinated, but she’s been reasoning a batch lately astir the 250 wellness attraction workers who declined the vaccine.

“As wellness attraction workers, we’re required to beryllium vaccinated against everything from measles and mumps to rubella and tetanus,” she says. “The vaccine isn’t a civilian rights issue, it’s a wellness issue. I interest a batch astir anyone who isn’t vaccinated and I don’t privation 1 of our wellness attraction workers to beryllium 1 of those precise sick radical successful our ICU asking for a vaccine.”

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