Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New York to end COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers

Max Schulte

A state mandate regarding COVID-19 vaccinations at health care facilities around New York will be ending.

The New York State Department of Health on Wednesday issued a statement saying that due to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving vaccine recommendations, the state has begun the process of repealing the vaccine requirement for workers at health care facilities.

State health officials said that throughout the public health emergency, the vaccine requirement “served as a critical public health tool, helping to protect both health care workers and the patients under their care.”

The announcement by the state comes as New York has been grappling with a shortage of health care workers, which advocates have said was exacerbated by employees who lost their jobs when they refused to receive the COVID vaccines.

Wednesday’s announcement by state health officials lifting the vaccine mandate for the health care workers noted that the health care facilities should continue to implement their own internal policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

On Thursday, UR Medicine released a statement saying that the University of Rochester Medical Center has begun revising COVID vaccine requirements and policies for employees. The health system said that it will "implement changes consistent with public health guidance while continuing to protect our patients and staff." UR Medicine said that current vaccine requirements will remain in place until the development of the new policy, which is expected to be completed in the coming days.

There was no immediate comment from Rochester Regional Health.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.