New York state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers took effect Monday, leaving hospitals and nursing homes across New York braced for the prospect of severe staff shortages fueled by workers getting suspended or fired for refusing to be inoculated.
Officials say 84% of state workers are fully vaccinated, but with thousands still thought to be holding out, administrators prepared contingency plans that included cutting back on noncritical services and limiting admissions at nursing homes.
As the deadline closed in, Gov. Kathy Hochul made an 11th-hour plea to holdout health care workers to get inoculated.
"To those who have not yet made that decision, please do the right thing," Hochul said at a press briefing. "A lot of your employers are anxious to just give you the jab in the arm and say you’re part of the family, we need your help to continue on."