NY plans COVID-19 booster mandate for healthcare workers

New York plans to require health care workers to get a COVID-19 booster.

Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement at a briefing on Friday morning.

"We need to make sure that our health care workers are now boosted.  Not just vaccinated but boosted.  You want to make sure anyone taking care of you is fully protected."

A vaccine mandate for health care workers went into effect last year after the United States Supreme Court refused to halt it.

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Hochul says a booster requirement is a common-sense extension of that mandate.  She wants people to get the COVID-19 booster shot within two weeks of their eligibility.  She noted that federal health authorities dropped the length of time people become eligible for a booster from six months to five months.

She says the booster shot is the best way to make sure hospitals do not lose too many staff members for extended periods due to the omicron variant that has swept through the state.


The governor says there would be no exemptions from the new requirement except for medical reasons.  There will also not be a test-out option.

New York would become the first state in the nation to require booster shots for healthcare workers.  The plan needs to be approved by the Public Health and Health Planning Council.  It will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the measure and Governor Hochul expects it to be quickly approved and go into effect immediately.