ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers to include boosters, pending approval from its Public Health and Health Planning Council.
In a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced healthcare workers would be required to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters. The requirement is the first of its kind in the nation.
The state will accept medical exemption from healthcare workers, but not religious exemptions. There is no test out option.
Under the new requirement, healthcare workers would need to get their COVID-19 booster within two weeks of eligibility.
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Bassett will present the new regulations to the Public Health and Health Planning Council for approval on Tuesday. Once approved, the requirement would take effect immediately.
Former Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the initial vaccine mandate for healthcare workers before his resignation in August 2021. In its first iteration, the mandate included a religious exemption, but that exemption was removed in November.
The mandate has been challenged in multiple courts, up to and including the United States Supreme Court. In December, the Court ruled it would not block the mandate.