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Deadline arrives for NY hospital staff to get 1st dose of vaccine

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Today (Sep. 27) is the deadline for employees in all New York hospitals to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH requirement does allow home care, hospice and adult care facility workers until October 7 to receive an initial shot.

Still, it’s led to dozens of resignations — and anxiety over potential staffing shortages across the state.

As of Wednesday (September 22), an estimated 84% of hospital employees in New York are fully vaccinated. This includes 83% in Cortland County; 85% in Tompkins County; and 85% in Onondaga County. (more data here)

New Guthrie president/CEO Dr. Edmund Sabanegh said the Cortland hospital has a 95% employee compliance rate, which covers both vaccinations and medical exemptions.

“We’re very hopeful of convincing our remaining staff that this is the right thing to do, both for their own health and that of their patients,” he said in a media call last week.


Ahead of today’s deadline, Governor Kathy Hochul released a comprehensive plan to address potential staffing shortages.

Among her strategies, the possibility of a future State of Emergency declaration to supplement the work force.

This would enable qualified health care professionals licensed in other states or countries to practice in NYS, along with recent graduates, retired and formerly practicing individuals.

Other options include deployment of medically-trained National Guard personnel, requesting federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs), and working with the federal government to expedite visa requests for medical workers.

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