Nearly a third of New York City hospital workers have still not received COVID-19 vaccines, city data shows.
Figures from the Ministry of Health show that only 70 percent have completed their vaccine series since the injections were rolled out in December 2020.
Of the five boroughs, Manhattan has the highest percentage of workers vaccinated: 76 percent have received the injections.
Queens has been the second best with more than two-thirds of health professionals, or 67 percent, vaccinated.
However, nearly 40 percent of hospital staff in the remaining three boroughs have refused or have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Through July 14, 61 percent of workers in the Bronx have been vaccinated, 62 percent in Brooklyn (Kings County) and 64 percent in Staten Island (Richmond County).
Currently in New York City, at least 69 percent of active COVID cases are of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Only 70 percent of hospital workers in New York City have been vaccinated, lagging behind the nationwide rate of 74 percent
Manhattan (in New York County) has the highest vaccination rate of 76 percent among hospital staff. The Bronx has the lowest percentage at only 61 percent.
In December 2020, health workers were among the first to receive the vaccine in the state.
Only one hospital in the state, NYPresbyterian-Health, has made a requirement for all employees to get vaccinated — giving them until Sept. 1.
According to state data, nearly 74 percent of adults in New York state and 70 percent of adults in the city have received at least one injection.
This means health workers in the state are meeting the city average, but lagging behind the rest of the state.
Statewide, 74 percent of health workers are vaccinated.
“It’s troubling that so many health professionals aren’t being vaccinated,” Richard Gottfried, chairman of the health commission and Manhattan representative in the state assembly, told the state council. New York Post.
“It’s important to protect themselves, protect their patients and keep healthcare going. They should be an example to everyone.’
Hospital workers are at increased risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 because of their interactions with sick patients in hospitals.
Even if someone does not work near COVID patients, he can still contract the virus from others in the hospital.
That’s why, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s critical that health professionals be vaccinated and that’s why they were given high priority in the vaccine rollout.
An increase in the number of cases among health professionals could also reduce hospitals’ ability to treat patients, exacerbating potential problems.
That’s why multiple hospital systems across the country have put in place vaccine mandates, forcing all employees to get the shots to keep their jobs.
NY-Presbyterian made the decision to set a September 1 deadline in June.
“The stakes in this case are high and the evidence is clear that vaccination against COVID-19 is the most important and responsible action we can take as NYP team members for the safety and well-being of our patients and visitors, our communities and ourselves.” ‘, the hospital management wrote in a memo to staff, obtained by Gothamist.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the only one of the city’s 11 hospitals to have a vaccine mandate in place, giving employees until September 1 to get the injections
The hospital, like many others, already requires employees to be vaccinated against flu, measles, rubella and varicella.
Other hospital systems across the country have introduced similar mandates, but not without backlash.
In Houston, Houston Methodist hospital was sued by more than 100 employees after they set a deadline for employees to get vaccinated in early June.
The lawsuit was dropped because the Equal Employment Commission previously ruled that employers were allowed to set these types of mandates.
1199SEIU, the nation’s largest health care union representing more than 450,000 members, has vowed to oppose such measures.
“We do not agree with a mandate for the COVID-19 vaccine,” George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, said in a statement. statement earlier this month.
A heavy-handed approach will not work and will only cause more frustration for the healthcare heroes who have fought this pandemic every day for the past 15 months.
“We agree that vaccination is an important tool for progress, but mandating vaccination is not the solution and never will be.”