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Over Vaccination Mandates, New York City Faces A Showdown

Monday is the last day for hundreds of thousands of workers in New York City to get vaccinated against coronavirus. Though, court orders have thrown many off that deadline.

Last month, the state department of New York passed an order that requires all healthcare workers to get vaccinated by 27 September.

Over Vaccination Mandates, New York City Faces A Showdown

According to the office of the governor, 77% of staff at all nursing home facilities, 84% of workers in hospitals, and 81% of adult care facilities staff have been fully vaccinated as of last Wednesday.

Over Vaccination Mandates, New York City Faces A Showdown

A Widely varying rate of vaccination was reported by hospitals, with New York-Presbyterian and Mount Sinai reporting almost 100% vaccination rate.

Buffalo’s Erie County Medical Center reported 85% of staff members were vaccinated and said that they do not expect around 400 workers to meet the deadline.

After the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in August, the state for healthcare workers mandated vaccines for employees of public schools in New York City.

New York City’s employees of 11 public hospitals will be sent on unpaid leave if they do not meet the vaccination deadline. According to Stephanie M Guzman, spokesperson of NYC health plus Hospital, if they get vaccinated, they can return to their jobs.

According to Dr. Mitch Katz of Health + Hospitals, about 5000 of 43,000 hospital workers remain unvaccinated as of Monday morning. Katz said that over 95% of their nurses are fully vaccinated and 98% of their doctors have agreed to get vaccinated.

Dr. Dave Chokshi, City department of health commissioner said that some hospitals may likely make operational adjustments to make sure their intensive care units are properly staffed. He says that the majority of hospitals will get through it without major adverse impact. 

Governor Kathy Hochul said that she plans to pass an executive order that will empower her to address shortages of healthcare workers after passing the mandate’s deadline.

She believes that the day off deadline is significant. She added that it reflects her priority to end the virus. She said that ensuring safety while entering a healthcare facility is a basic human right.

Even if medical licenses of retired healthcare workers have lapsed The governor is prepared to deploy her emergency powers and call national guard officers to bring them.

She is prepared to impose an emergency allowing licensed healthcare professionals of other countries or recent graduates to practice in New York.

She said that her office is in continuous touch with hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state to determine any shortages in resources or employees.

A hospital in the city already stopped deliveries as a lot of their employees resigned over the mandate issue. Some employees may fall in a category that will be allowed not to get vaccinated because of religious exemption.

At the end of the Friday, mandates regarding vaccination will go into effect for educators of New York City. By October 4, staff and educators still have to be vaccinated, said the New York City Department of Education.

Danielle Filson, NYC spokeswoman told CNN that the strongest tool to fight against COVID-19 is vaccination. It is the only way to protect staff members and students.

The education department of the city reports over 91% of the teachers, 87% of their employees, and 97% of the principals are fully vaccinated and the rate continues to rise.

President of UFT, Michael Mulgrew, said that a lot of work has to be done in the city to ensure enough vaccinated staff members by the new date. He said that they will be working on their members to make sure their schools can open safely, and vaccination mandates are completely enforced.

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