Healthcare and Labor & Employment Law Alert: NYSDOH Recommending Repeal of COVID-19 Healthcare Worker Vaccine Requirement

The New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) issued a Dear Administrator Letter on May 24, 2023 stating that it is recommending repeal of the regulatory requirement under 10 NYCRR § 2.61 for covered healthcare personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This recommendation is subject to consideration by the Public Health and Health Planning Council (“PHHPC”); however, effective immediately, NYSDOH will cease citing providers for failure to comply with 10 NYCRR §2.61. The repeal would not impact sanctions against providers for previously cited violations of the rule.

NYSDOH stated in a press release that this action was “[d]ue to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving vaccine recommendations”, but noted that “facilities should continue to implement their own internal policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination.” NYSDOH further commented that healthcare facilities should consider compliance obligations under other state and federal laws; however, the Biden administration announced earlier this month that it was ending the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees and contractors, and that the Federal Department of Health and Human Services “will start the process” to end vaccination requirements for CMS-certified healthcare facilities.

This communication is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.