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New York healthcare workers no longer required to get COVID-19 booster shot by Monday, February 21

Virus Outbreak-Boosters
Posted at 2:19 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 17:37:37-05

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.

Michael Hughes, Kaleida Health
"ECMC has informed staff of the NYSDOH information on the booster vaccine mandate and we will abide by the State’s update."
Peter Cutler, ECMC
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.
JoAnn Cavanaugh, Catholic Health

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 StaffReceived Booster Willing and Awaiting Booster Total As a % of Total Staff 
Hospitals 278,164 154,598 432,762 84% 
Nursing Homes 62,540 12,536 75,076 51% 
Adult Care Facilities 14,548 4,359 18,907 63% 
LHCSAs (Home Care)83,341 106,292 189,633 70% 
Hospice 3,719 2,088 5,807 95% 
CHHAs (Home Care)6,680 4,646 11,326 84% 
Total 448,992 284,519 733,511 75% 

Direct StaffReceived Booster Willing and Awaiting Booster TotalAs a % of Total Direct Care Staff 
Hospitals 188,732 119,565 308,297 88% 
Nursing Homes 39,621 8,574 48,195 51% 
Adult Care Facilities 6,888 2,491 9,379 62% 
LHCSAs (Home Care)75,583 96,695 172,278 68% 
Hospice 2,627 1,419 4,046 91% 
CHHAs (Home Care)5,205 3,594 8,799 85% 
Total 318,656 232,338 550,994 76% 

Original vaccine requirements for health care workers are still in effect, and the state will reassess in three months.