Gov. Hochul will appeal judge’s ruling on vaccine mandate

The numbers are up. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday is showing just how much COVID-19 vaccination rates have risen since she’s been in office and a deadline for healthcare workers to get their shots was put in place.

"I think that the mandates have brought people to the right decision," said Hochul.

In nursing homes, the rate of workers who received at least one dose of a vaccine has jumped from 71% to 92%. In hospitals, it’s up from 77% to 92%. Adult care facilities have seen an increase from 77% to 95%, and home health care workers have gone up from 86% to 94%.

At her latest COVID-19 briefing, the controversy over the healthcare worker vaccine mandate was front and center, just one day after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction barring the state from enforcing the mandate for people requesting religious exemptions.

Hochul says her office is already working on an appeal to the ruling, saying she has reached out to Attorney General Tish James’ office.

Hoping to further her stance, Hochul went on to show quotes from several religious leaders who support the vaccine.

"I want to thank the religious leaders for doing this. They have stepped up. I have heard from all of them that they support what they are doing, and they will back us up," said Hochul.

As for staffing shortages in healthcare settings, right now the state says there is an estimated 3% reduction in the workforce due to the mandate. With a total of 85% of adult New Yorkers now having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far, Hochul hopes the rest will follow suit.

"We are all sick and tired of this. We want to say it’s over, and this is the way we get to that point."