OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:48 PM – Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Following an ongoing legal challenge, the New York State Department of Health will no longer require health care workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations starting this fall.
“Due to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving vaccine recommendations, the New York State Department of Health has begun the process of repealing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for workers at regulated healthcare facilities,” the department said in a statement.
Before the courts could formally rule that the state now lacks the authority for such a mandate, officials made the announcement on Wednesday while pleading with a Rochester appellate judge to dismiss a lawsuit contesting the mandate.
Out of the approximately one million individuals who were subject to the requirement, the Department of Health estimated that 30,000 healthcare personnel have lost their employment recently as a result of refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Following a lawsuit filed by the organization Medical Professions for Informed Consent, which identified then-DOH Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett as a respondent, a State Supreme Court judge invalidated the regulation in January.
The State of New York then filed an appeal against that decision, ostensibly in an effort to maintain its right to mandate vaccinations in the future.
The COVID-19 mandate for healthcare professionals has no longer been the subject of departmental enforcement activities, however, due to administrative delays, the formal implementation date of the vaccine rule will not be ending until at least September.
The department will reportedly not begin any new enforcement actions while the Public Health and Health Planning Council considers whether to approve the repeal of this regulation or not.
“However, it should be noted that facilities should continue to implement their own internal policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination,” they stated.
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