ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s last weeks of office, he announced all medical staff and health care workers in New York will be required to get vaccinated.

As the fight against COVID-19 continues, hospital, long-term facilities, and nursing homes employees will have to develop and implement an employee mandate. This will include limited exceptions for religious or medical reasons.

“We are not opposed to the vaccine but it has to be implemented properly,” said Pat Kane.

Pat Kane is the Executive Director of the New York Nurses Association. Kane says getting vaccinated is key to saving lives. But she believes the COVID-19 vaccine should be FDA approved and more guidance is needed from the state.

“The Department of Health hasn’t designated COVID as an airborne infectious disease that poses a threat to public health. It will help reduce the strain on our health care system,” said Kane.

Kane says her fear is how they could lose more workers because of the mandate. She is also worried how how health care facilities will handle it.

“I have a feeling like we are not prepared for this particular moment,” said she. 

“We will again be meeting with all our staff. We do anticipate that there will be some people who will have their own personal convictions, however that will unfortunately lead to their separation from Fort Hudson,” said Andrew Cruikshank.

Andrew Cruikshank is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fort Hudson Health System. He believes many of their staff will chose to get vaccinated to keep their patients safe.   

“I think vaccination of health care employees are very appropriate to public health measures. We are very supportive of it,” said he. 

For New Yorkers with compromised immune systems, the Department of Health has also authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine dose.