- New York’s vaccine mandate helped more healthcare workers get vaccinated, according to state data.
- 87% of hospital workers in the state are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Hospitals and healthcare facilities are currently facing staffing shortages as nurses leave citing burnout and difficult working conditions.
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Since New York mandated the coronavirus vaccine for healthcare workers in the state, the vaccination rate of hospital employees has doubled compared to the rate of adults in the state.
The mandate, which went into full effect on Monday, created an ultimatum for healthcare workers in New York to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or lose their jobs.
As of Wednesday, 87% of hospital workers in the state have completed their vaccination series, meaning they have received all required doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Out of all the adults living in New York, under 75% are fully vaccinated, according to data from the New York department of health.
Before the mandate was announced, only 76% of hospital workers were fully vaccinated, causing an 11-percentage-point increase in the state, according to data obtained by the Wall Street Journal. There was a 5-point rise for all adults in the state too after the mandate was announced.
New York governor Kathy Hochul prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and workers outside New York to aid with a potential shortage of healthcare workers once the mandate went into effect. In a press release on Tuesday, Hochul said she was feeling optimistic about the mandate after the increase in the vaccination rate amongst healthcare workers in the state.
“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,” Hochul said in a statement. “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.”
Although healthcare workers have higher vaccination rates than the general population in the US, those who refuse vaccinations against coronavirus will place an added strain on already understaffed hospitals and care facilities. With an influx of patients because of the Delta variant and fewer nurses due to burnout and difficult working conditions, many healthcare facilities are facing staffing shortages, Insider reported. However, a nursing shortage has been looming for years, only accelerated by the pandemic as fear of contracting COVID-19 worsened working conditions.