Vaccine mandate shows encouraging results

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul holds a news conference about the mandate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination for healthcare workers in New York
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, in New York City, U.S., Sept. 27, 2021.
REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced that health care staff vaccination rates continue to rise throughout New York State, according to the latest data reported by health care facilities to the Department of Health.

This new information comes as the vaccination mandate for health care staff in hospitals and nursing homes is now in effect.

“This new information shows that holding firm on the vaccine mandate for health care workers is simply the right thing to do to protect our vulnerable family members and loved ones from COVID-19,” Gov. Hochul said.

“I am pleased to see that health care workers are getting vaccinated to keep New Yorkers safe, and I am continuing to monitor developments and ready to take action to alleviate potential staffing shortage situations in our health care systems,” she added.

Hochul said “considerable progress” has been made since she was sworn-in on Aug. 24.

She said vaccination rates among health care workers have continued to increase, even in the last week leading up to the deadline.

The percentage of nursing home staff receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose increased to 92 percent as of Monday evening, up from 71 percent on Aug. 24 and 82 percent on Sept. 20.

The percentage of adult care facilities staff receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose increased to 89 percent as of Monday evening, up from 77 percent on Aug. 24 and 85 percent on Sept. 20.

The percentage of hospital staff receiving at least one dose is 92 percent as of Monday evening based on preliminary self-reported data.

The percentage of fully vaccinated is 85 percent as of Monday evening, up from 84 percent on Sept. 22 and 77 percent on Aug. 24.

The State Department of Health said it conducted a one-time Health Electronic Response Data System (HERDS) survey of hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities on Sept. 27, 2021 to determine the vaccination status of workers in health care settings.

Hochul said this is being used to supplement the survey data informing our COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Long Term Care Vaccinations webpage, which is updated daily with information self-reported by Skilled Nursing Facilities and Adult Care Facilities and Vaccine Tracker Hospital Worker Vaccination webpage, which is updated weekly with information self-reported by individual hospitals.

On Monday night, Hochul signed an Executive Order to significantly expand the eligible workforce and allow additional health care workers to administer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

In addition, she directed a 24/7 Operations Center, led by the New York State Department of Health, to constantly monitor staffing operations and trends statewide, provide guidance to health care facilities and help troubleshoot acute situations with providers as necessary.

“The governor continues to engage in ongoing outreach with local elected officials, hospitals, labor leaders, and other health care organizations to check-in on staffing status and offer State assistance,” the statement said.

According to the regulation issued by the State Department of Health, all health care workers in New York State, at hospitals and nursing homes, are to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the first dose received by Monday, Sept. 27, and staff at other covered entities including home care, hospice, and adult care facilities are to be vaccinated by Oct. 7.

The regulation also applies to all out of state and contract medical staff who practice in New York State.

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