New York Department of Health to repeal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers
The New York State Department of Health said it will repeal the state-imposed Covid-19 vaccine requirement for all workers at routine health care facilities.
In a statement posted on the agency’s website, the Department of Health announced that it has begun the process of repealing the coronavirus vaccine requirement for health care workers due to the changing pandemic landscape and evolving vaccine recommendations.
“Throughout public health emergencies, this vaccine requirement has served as an important public health tool, helping to protect both health care workers and the patients under their care,” the statement read. “As the repeal of this rule is awaiting consideration for approval by the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC), the Department will not initiate any new enforcement actions.”
The department added that healthcare facilities should continue to implement their own policies regarding Covid-19 vaccination internally.
New York health department ‘exploring options’ after judge blocks order for Covid vaccine for health workers
In January, a New York Supreme Court judge struck down an order that required all health care workers in the state to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
A lawsuit was brought by medical professionals for informed consent, including health care workers who were already redundant or had already lost their jobs.
In his ruling, Judge Gerard Neary said Gov. Cathy Hochul and the New York State Department of Health exceeded their authority by imposing such an order.
The New York Supreme Court reinstated all workers fired for not being vaccinated, ordering backpay
Neary explained that the order was “unnecessary, useless and of no effect” because the state could not require health care workers to receive vaccinations not required by public health law, including hepatitis, measles and mumps.
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Although the health department said it “strongly” disagrees with Neary’s decision, the agency said it was exploring its options, adding that ordering the Covid-19 vaccine would protect the most at-risk patients and their families. Caregivers are protected.
An estimated 34,000 health care workers in New York have lost their jobs as a result of the state order, worsening the health care staffing crisis at a critical time.
Fox News’ Nicholas Lenum contributed to this report.