NY Covid vaccine warrant tested by worker pushback

Tens of thousands of healthcare workers in New York appeared to be risk their jobs through challenge a state mandate to receive a dose...

Tens of thousands of healthcare workers in New York appeared to be risk their jobs through challenge a state mandate to receive a dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Monday, setting up early testing for mandates from similar employers across the United States.

Governor Kathy C. Hochul’s success in implementing the mandate could shape the way other states proceed, such as President Biden pushes for everyone working in a healthcare facility to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

In New York, Rhode Island, Maine, Oregon and the District of Columbia, healthcare workers must get vaccinated to keep their jobs. In California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Illinois, workers have the option of being tested regularly if they choose not to be vaccinated.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday he hoped New York City health workers would agree to be vaccinated this week to avoid losing their livelihood. His administration said about 5,000 employees of the city’s public hospital system – about 10 percent of the workforce – had not been vaccinated and could not come to work or be paid.

Health officials in New York said Monday they had so far heard of no major staff shortages in public or private hospitals. City health commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi said some hospitals may need to make operational adjustments in intensive care units or operating rooms.

“I believe hospitals will be ready to go through this without major impact on patient care,” Dr Chokshi said at a press conference Monday morning.

Resistance to immunization warrants has deterred most states from threatening to fire unvaccinated workers, even though employers (or state governments, in their capacity as employers) are legally authorized to require workers to be vaccinated, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The New York mandate and the state’s refusal to allow religious exemptions are the subject of at least two lawsuits. A vaccination mandate for the more than 150,000 adults working at New York Public Schools was delayed by a federal appeals court on Friday.

Many New York health workers have resisted the order because they are concerned about the potential side effects of the vaccines, or have challenged it because they say it violates their personal freedom. Covid vaccines have been shown to be very effective in preventing symptomatic infections, serious illness and death, and vaccine side effects, if any, tend to be minor and short-lived.

New York officials are bracing for possible staff disruptions at healthcare facilities. Ms Hochul said on Friday she could declare a state of emergency and deploy National Guard military personnel, or even recruit temporary workers from the Philippines or Ireland, if they are needed to replace unvaccinated health care workers.

On Monday, Ms Hochul reiterated the state’s readiness to work with hospitals to address any staffing shortages and repeatedly called potential shortages “preventable.”

“It’s not a role that I appreciate,” Ms. Hochul said of the implementation of the state’s mandate. “But I also know realistically that there are people who will not return to their jobs.”

Ms Hochul said she had heard from doctors and hospital systems that some facilities, especially those in the lower state area, were seeing an increase in the number of healthcare workers getting vaccinated on Monday. She said, however, there would be some lag in compiling the updated statewide figures.

Ms Hochul, who said she intended to run for a full term as governor in 2022, thanked workers who had already been vaccinated on Monday and pleaded with holdouts to join them.

“To those who have not yet made this decision, please do the right thing,” she said at a news conference in the Bronx. “We have a lot of facilities. Many of your employers are eager to give you a hug and say that you are part of the family. We need your help to continue. “

Mrs. Hochul. who has been in office for just over a month, succeeding the resignation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, faced his first crisis earlier this month when downpours from Hurricane Ida made at least 15 dead in the state. The rejection of the vaccine’s mandate will likely be his next major test.

In New York, public health officials who refused to be vaccinated were not fired on Monday. City officials said they hope workers get vaccinated this week and return to work.

Mr de Blasio said on Monday he was optimistic his vaccine mandate for school workers would stand in court. He said 90 percent of the city’s teachers were already vaccinated.

“We are very, very confident that the city will win,” said de Blasio.

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Newsrust - US Top News: NY Covid vaccine warrant tested by worker pushback
NY Covid vaccine warrant tested by worker pushback
Newsrust - US Top News
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