ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–On Thursday, the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council voted no longer require the booster shot mandate for health care workers.

Last month the Health Care Association of New York State asked for a 90 day extension before the booster mandate went into effect. That request was granted to avoid major staffing issues.

“We are extremely happy that this morning as we read the new regulations that were adopted by the PHHPC this morning, the booster mandate is no longer a requirement, explained Gary Fitzgerald, CEO of Iroquois Health Care Alliance.

The New York State Department of Health told Capitol Correspondent, Jamie DeLine, that while it will no longer be required, it still must be added to the State Registry before it’s effective.

“The regulation as we interpret it, relies on the CDC guidance as to what hospital workers have to have as far as vaccinations,” said Fitzgerald. “So, we are thrilled about that because we’ve had an extreme shortage of workforce in our hospitals throughout the pandemic and before, and that booster mandate would have really caused a lot of hospitals and nursing homes not to be able to operate.”

The Department of Health released a statement which said,

“To help protect some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers from COVID-19, today the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) extended the original vaccination requirement for healthcare workers that has remained in effect since last year and does not renew the booster dose requirement for healthcare workers. In light of concerns about potential staffing issues, on Feb. 18, the New York State Department of Health announced it would not enforce the mandate requiring healthcare workers get a COVID-19 booster shot. As a result of the healthcare worker vaccine requirement, hospital workers and long term staff have a completed vaccine series of 98 and 99 percent, respectively.”