New York system drops vaccine mandate

Rome (N.Y.) Health is no longer requiring that workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.

Director of Infection Prevention M. Katie Friot, RN, and Chief Medical Officer Cristian Andrade, MD, announced the change in a June 5 news release. 

They cited the HHS announcement in early May that it would drop the COVID-19 vaccine rule for hospitals and the New York State Department of Health's announcement in May that the agency would no longer enforce the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for workers at regulated healthcare facilities, while working to repeal it. The Biden administration recently issued an 82-page final rule formalizing the end of the federal vaccination requirement.

"With these federal and state actions, we anticipate that the mandate will be repealed by the Department of Health as recommended," Ms. Friot said in the release. "As a result, the COVID-19 vaccine is no longer mandatory for employees of Rome Health."

Ms. Friot also noted that the decision to forgo waiting for the final ruling of the state repeal was made in conjunction with the hospital’s affiliate partner, Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph's Health and Trinity of New York.

"Rome Health will begin inviting colleagues who left due to the New York State vaccine mandate to consider returning to open positions," she said. "We will also reach out to recent job candidates who declined offers due to the mandate."

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