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Statement: Tague Opposes Health Worker Vaccine Mandate

Written By Editor on 9/12/21 | 9/12/21

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie) has joined his Assembly Republican colleagues in a letter to Gov. Hochul and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker demanding that they rescind the decision to mandate that healthcare workers get vaccinated by September 27. In the letter they argue that with 20-25% of healthcare workers still unvaccinated, a vaccination mandate will cause a shortage of staff within hospitals and health centers if workers who do not wish to be vaccinated are fired or forced to resign. Rather than forcing a mandate on hospital workers, Tague believes a comprehensive solution involving improving access to PPE and weekly testing for the unvaccinated would be better for public health, while preserving the ability of healthcare workers to make decisions about their wellness.


Concerns were also raised regarding the implementation of such a mandate for workers who do not come into close proximity with patients such as coders and transcriptionists, as well as for individuals working in hospitals who have a legitimate medical exemption precluding them from receiving the vaccine.


“If we think things have gotten bad with the rise of the delta variant, we’re really in for it if the governor allows us to lose nearly a quarter of our healthcare workers overnight,” said Tague. “I’ve been vaccinated and encourage anyone to get it, but forcing people to take a vaccine they don’t want for any reason, whether it be personal or religious, is not the way to improve vaccination rates, and will only make people more hesitant to trust it. We can preserve the safety of patients with frequent testing of unvaccinated people and improved access to high-quality PPE, such as N95 masks, but implementing a mandate that will drastically reduce our pool of healthcare workers will only hurt patients and our ability to save their lives.”

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