NEW YORK (WKBW) — Healthcare workers in New York State will no longer be required to get a COVID-19 booster shot by Monday, February 21.
In a statement from the New York State Department of Health, officials say, "in order to avoid potential staffing issues and give healthcare workers more time to get boosted, the State will no longer enforce the booster requirement that will go into effect on February 21."
“The vaccine and booster are critical tools to keep both healthcare workers and their patients safe, and we continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose when eligible,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “While we are making progress with 75% of staff received or are willing to receive their booster, the reality is that not enough healthcare workers will be boosted by next week’s requirement in order to avoid substantial staffing issues in our already overstressed healthcare system. That is why we are announcing additional efforts to work closely with healthcare facilities and ensure that our healthcare workforce is up to date on their doses.”
Given the number of staff and providers across the region and state that still remain without the booster, it would be a tremendous challenge for everyone to safely comply due to the risk of patients, staff and community. That said, Kaleida Health continues to encourage those who have not yet received their booster to do so as soon as they are eligible to protect themselves, their patients and the community. Vaccinations and boosters, along with other tools like masking, hand hygiene and distancing, remain the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"ECMC has informed staff of the NYSDOH information on the booster vaccine mandate and we will abide by the State’s update."
While we are grateful to the Department of Health for pausing this requirement, we continue to urge our associates, and everyone in our community who is eligible, to get boosted to protect themselves from the effects of COVID-19.
The state health department says, 75 percent of the State’s healthcare workforce have either received or are willing to receive a booster, including 88 percent among direct care staff in hospitals.
You can view a breakdown of percentage of health care workers boosted provided by the state department of health below by total staff and direct staff
|Total Staff||Received Booster||Willing and Awaiting Booster||Total||As a % of Total Staff|
|Adult Care Facilities||14,548||4,359||18,907||63%|
|LHCSAs (Home Care)||83,341||106,292||189,633||70%|
|CHHAs (Home Care)||6,680||4,646||11,326||84%|
|Direct Staff||Received Booster||Willing and Awaiting Booster||Total||As a % of Total Direct Care Staff|
|Adult Care Facilities||6,888||2,491||9,379||62%|
|LHCSAs (Home Care)||75,583||96,695||172,278||68%|
|CHHAs (Home Care)||5,205||3,594||8,799||85%|
Original vaccine requirements for health care workers are still in effect, and the state will reassess in three months.