COVID-19 vaccine mandates catching on in public, private sectors

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York would require state employees and health care workers to be vaccinated.

Amid rising cases of coronavirus — which are largely happening in people who have not received the vaccine — a number of workplaces are considering, or have already put in place, a COVID vaccine requirement.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week it would mandate vaccinations for physicians, nurses and some other employees. Workers with VA Finger Lakes, with locations throughout the Rochester area, will see that come into play.

“What we’re doing is running the numbers and names of those that have not been vaccinated, said Bruce Tucker, the Medical Center Director for VA Finger Lakes, “and we’ll be notifying them over the next few weeks that they have not been vaccinated, to set up the appointment to become vaccinated, or to ensure that if they can’t they fit in one of those two declination categories.”

Those categories, Tucker notes: religious and medical exemptions.

Tucker told News 8 around 80% of employees in their system are already vaccinated. VA Finger Lakes serves around 33,000 veterans, spanning the Rochester area to Northern Pennsylvania.

Paul Keneally, a local employment attorney with Underberg & Kessler, said he’s already seeing some companies mandate vaccinations for employees.

“There’s a few companies that are clients of mine that are requiring the vaccination. Usually giving employees a bit of notice, a little lead time, saying ‘you have to be vaccinated by labor day or October first,'” Keneally said.

“Some are choosing to do that, and they’re able to,” Keneally added.

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