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New York to require booster shots for healthcare workers

A masked male healthcare worker prepares a syringe
Max Schulte

New York is joining a handful of states in requiring health care workers to get a COVID-19 booster shot.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday that she was expanding on a vaccine mandate she instituted last fall requiring healthcare workers to get vaccinated because too many breakthrough infections were being reported among health care workers.

"Staff is getting sick. They're leaving. We need them to get well," Hochul said at a news conference. "We need them to have the best fortification they possibly can and that means getting a booster shot as well."

The Democrat said under the new order, healthcare workers will be required to get their shots within two weeks of becoming eligible for a booster. That's as soon as two months for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and five months for people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Healthcare workers will only be exempt from the booster mandate if they have a medical reason for not being eligible to receive the shot.

The new mandate means New York will join other states, such as California and New Mexico, in requiring boosters for healthcare workers.

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