December 9, 2021

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Covid-19 Vaccinations in New York Accelerated Ahead of Healthcare Worker Mandates

Since

former Gov. Andrew Cuomo

announced a vaccine mandate for New York healthcare workers more than a month ago, hospital employees in the state have been getting vaccinated at more than twice the rate as all New York adults, according to data provided by the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Tuesday, the day after the mandate took effect, 87% of hospital workers were reported as fully vaccinated, up from 76% on Aug. 17, the day after the mandate was announced. This 11-percentage-point increase compares with a 5-point rise for all adults in the state, whose overall vaccination rate remains at around 75%.

Vaccination rates of workers in New York hospitals

Aug. 17

Day after mandate announced

Sept. 28

Day after mandate in effect

97 hospitals

Vaccination rate

above 76%

95 hospitals

Vaccination rate

of 76% or lower

Aug. 17 (Day after mandate announced)

97 hospitals

Vaccination rate

above 76%

95 hospitals

Vaccination rate

of 76% or lower

Sept. 28 (Day after mandate in effect)

Aug. 17 (Day after mandate announced)

97 hospitals

Vaccination rate

above 76%

95 hospitals

Vaccination rate

of 76% or lower

Sept. 28 (Day after mandate in effect)

More than two-thirds of individual hospitals recorded an increase in vaccination rates above the state figure for the time period. The data are provided to the health department weekly by nearly 200 hospitals across the state who self-report employee vaccination rates.

The governor’s office prepared for healthcare disruptions ahead of the deadline, but with 92% of hospital staff receiving at least one dose, no healthcare facilities reported closures.

The change varies among the largest hospitals within the state’s geographic regions, while the overall change for all adults has been between 3 to 6 percentage points across the regions. Some hospitals saw increases of as much as nearly 30 percentage points over the time period, with a large number of workers achieving full vaccination in the week leading up to Monday’s deadline.

New York’s vaccination mandate states healthcare workers must receive their first vaccine dose by Sept. 27 and doesn’t allow for religious exemptions. It is one of 13 states plus the District of Columbia mandating vaccinations for healthcare workers, two of which (California and D.C.) took effect Thursday, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. All but three of those allow for weekly Covid-19 testing in place of vaccination. The state mandates are already in place or will come into effect ahead of President Biden’s plan to mandate vaccinations for all workers in healthcare settings receiving funding from Medicare and Medicaid.

Across the U.S., healthcare workers have higher vaccination rates than the general population. According to surveys conducted by the Covid-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, a joint project of four major universities, the number of healthcare workers who indicated that they “would not get” a vaccine decreased from 15% in July to 13.2% in September.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted Sept. 13-22, 62% of Americans support vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, while respondents were divided over general mandates for all workers.

Write to Max Rust at [email protected] and Ana Rivas at [email protected]

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-vaccinations-in-new-york-accelerated-ahead-of-healthcare-worker-mandates-11633167002