All New York State healthcare workers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 27, according to a new mandate from outgoing Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The vaccine mandate applies to staff workers at state hospitals and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, adult-care and other congregate care settings.
According to data released by the state Department of Health, 75% of the state’s hospital workers, 74% of the adult-care facility workers and 68% of the state’s nursing home workers are fully vaccinated.
Cuomo’s mandate comes in the wake of COVID-19’s nationwide surge via the Delta variant, including a 1000% increase in New York State’s daily positive caseloads over the last six weeks, with more than 80% of recent positives in the state linked to the Delta variant.
“When COVID ambushed New York last year, New Yorkers acted, while the federal government denied the problem,” said Cuomo, who is set to leave office on Aug. 24 following his Aug. 10 resignation announcement. “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. (Howard) Zucker and federal and state health experts.”
On July 28, Cuomo said that state employees and patient-facing employees in New York State hospitals will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day.
Additionally, Cuomo reported that the state Department of Health has also authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised New Yorkers. 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.