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New York State Officially Repeals the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers

On October 4, 2023, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers in New York State (NYS) was officially repealed. The mandate, which was implemented in September 2021, required all health care workers in the state to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they had a medical or religious exemption. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has not enforced the regulation since May 24, 2023.

The decision to repeal the mandate was made by the DOH, in consultation with the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC). The DOH cited the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving vaccine recommendations as the primary reasons for the repeal.

Next Steps

Although the mandate is being repealed, the DOH continues to recommend that all health care workers get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Healthcare employers are also still permitted to have their own vaccination requirements but should engage in an interactive process and provide an accommodation for employees who have a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from getting vaccinated unless such request is an undue hardship.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.