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New York State Plans to End Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

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New York City has announced that the state of NY plans to revoke its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, this is according to Jonathan Hitsous, attorney for New York State. The announcement was made just minutes after an argument began in the court hearing in a lawsuit that was filed last October 20, 2022 by Medical Professionals for Informed Consent, a group formed by health and medical professionals affected by the mandate, against NY Department of Health, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul and Mary T. Bassett, the state’s health commissioner.

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Speaking at the court on East Avenue in Rochester, Atty. Hitsous said:

“I would like to advise the court that the State Health Department has just informed me that they intend to repeal the regulation that is being challenged here.

The repeal is going to be done through the notice and comment process but what I can confirm is that the department no longer intends to enforce this rule and will be sending out guidance to hospitals and other health care facility administrators within the upcoming week.”

NY state also requested the Supreme Court to vacate the previous decision on January 13, which Atty. Hitsous declared to be currently moot, that ruled the said vaccine mandate for healthcare workers ‘null and void’ because, according to the Supreme Court, the NY State DOH “lacked authority to impose the mandate” and that “the COVID-19 shots do not prevent transmission.” The mandate, which took effect in September 2021, required the healthcare and medical workers of New York to get vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Even though it was clear that the vaccine mandate was illegal and violative of human rights, aside from it is completely threatens the economy, it was still enforced and affected around 34,000 healthcare workers who did not want to comply. These workers composed 3 percent of the workforce, chose to quit or lose their job instead of getting the vaccines.   

In December of 2020, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported about a NY City healthcare worker that experienced a severe adverse reaction to Pfizer-BioNTech Covid shot in which he suffered anaphylaxis. In January of 2019, NY state mandated the flu shot to all preschool children and in June of the same year, NY also quickly removed religious vaccine exemptions without public consultation.

References:

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/coronavirus/2023/01/15/new-york-eyes-nixed-covid-19-vaccine-rule-for-health-workers

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/health/2023/05/24/ny-to-repeal-covid-vaccine-mandate-for-health-workers-attorney-says/70251838007/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-health-care-worker-has-severe-adverse-reaction-to-covid-19-vaccine-11608760982

Featured image: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/13/supreme-court-rejects-bid-to-block-covid-vaccine-mandate-for-ny-health-workers.html