NY’s Covid Vaccine Authority Authorized by Pushback From Staff

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As New York begins its post-pandemic life, we explore Covid’s lasting impact on the city.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Monday that President Biden’s administration supported vaccine mandates, including New York’s and those in other health care systems around the country, as well as contingency plans to ensure adequate staffing if the mandates resulted in personnel shortages.

On Monday, Ms. Hochul reiterated that the state was prepared to work with hospitals to address any staff shortages, and repeatedly labeled potential shortages as “preventable.”

Many hospital systems had imposed vaccine mandates with relatively little impact on the size of their staffs, Ms. Psaki said.

Story Highlights

  • A City Stirs

  • New York officials are bracing for possible staffing disruptions at health care facilities. Ms. Hochul said last week that she might declare a state of emergency and deploy National Guard troops, or even recruit temporary workers from the Philippines or Ireland, if they are needed to replace unvaccinated health care workers.

“It’s not a role I relish,” Ms. Hochul said about enforcing the state mandate. “But I also realistically know that there are people who will not come back to their jobs.”

In interviews, doctors and nurses in New York City said that some holdouts were getting vaccinated as the deadline neared. At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, the percentage of employees with at least one dose jumped from 88 percent on Friday to 94 percent by late Monday morning, the hospital’s chief medical officer, Eric Appelbaum, said in an interview. He noted that many of the holdouts had gotten vaccinated at pharmacies over the weekend. “I did not think it would be this good,” he said, adding that he had worried the vaccination rate would stall before reaching 90 percent.