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Hochul, James file appeal over COVID-19 vaccine religious exemption for healthcare workers ruling

COVID-19 vaccines
Posted at 2:02 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 14:41:44-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the New York State Department of Health have filed an appeal over the federal judge ruling that allows a COVID-19 vaccine religious exemption for healthcare workers.

The federal judge ruled that New York must continue to allow health care workers to seek exemptions from a statewide vaccine mandate on religious grounds as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeds.

During a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Hochul said that the state was planning to appeal the ruling.

90 percent of healthcare workers in New York State are fully vaccinated and 88 percent of healthcare workers in Western New York are fully vaccinated.

Gov. Hochul released the following statement Friday:

I applaud the Attorney General's challenge of the lower court's decision on the religious exemption to the vaccine requirement. I spoke with the Attorney General this morning, and we had a productive conversation about the importance of protecting this requirement. New York will continue to lead the nation in taking bold action on vaccines, which are our best weapon in defeating this virus.
- Gov. Hochul