NY officials come out against temporary injunction of vaccine mandate for healthcare workers
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The state is responding to a motion to block the vaccine mandate for some healthcare workers.
A federal judge in Utica extended a temporary restraining order until at least Oct. 12, for those who claim a religious exemption to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, and Attorney General Letitia James filed a memorandum of law Wednesday voicing opposition to the temporary injunction.
Hochul is holding firm on the vaccine mandate, Wednesday saying that healthcare workers who don’t get vaccinated will be replaced.
She said she will announce a plan shortly to supplement healthcare facilities that are losing staff.
"The hours are ticking down now," Hochul said. "Please do this because I cannot imagine the guilt someone would have if a healthcare worker who will not get vaccinated and because of that someone that’s entrusted in their care becomes sick. Especially with the reinfections. We need to do everything we can to get out of this."
The mandate was set to go into effect on Sept. 27 and would have required all healthcare workers in state-operated facilities to get the vaccine, without exemptions.
Wednesday members of Strong Memorial Hospital spoke about what they’ve been dealing with non-stop since the pandemic hit in March of 2020, saying they want to see the vaccination numbers continue to climb
"We have been going full tilt for 18 months now, more than 18 months,” said Director of Surgical Intensive Care, Highly Infectious Disease Unit Dr. Paritosh Prasad. “And the honest truth is, we are exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally."
"This takes us here in the hospital working with those of you in the community to overcome this,” said Medical Intensive Care Unit Nurse Manager Chris Burleigh. “Because this isn’t something we can do alone."