Information for Healthcare Workers On New York State's COVID-19 New Booster Dose Requirement: Frequently Asked Questions

Information for Healthcare Workers On New York State's COVID-19 New Booster Dose Requirement: Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the new regulation?

The new regulation requires that all healthcare facilities regulated by New York State must require personnel to receive a COVID-19 booster dose or supplemental dose as recommended by the CDC, on top of the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Are there exemptions to this new regulation?

There is a medical exemption. Consistent with the prior regulation requiring personnel to receive primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine, there is no religious exemption.

 

Why is this new requirement needed?

Healthcare setting remain high risk, and protecting our healthcare workforce and the patients they serve is a top priority for New York State. The data continue to demonstrate that a booster dose is needed to maximize protection against the virus over time and against new variants.

You can read the regulation at the link here.

 

When did this new regulation go into effect?

The amendment adding the COVID-19 booster requirement for healthcare workers became effective on January 21, 2022. The original requirement for vaccination took effect on August 26, 2021.

Healthcare Facilities

What are the healthcare facilities and workplace types that must comply with this regulation?

The regulation applies to the following healthcare facilities: hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic and treatment centers (clinics), nursing homes, hospices, home care services agencies, and adult care facilities.

 

What workplaces are not included?

The regulation does not apply to private practices or healthcare facilities that are not licensed by the New York State Department of Health

Healthcare Workers

Which healthcare workers will have to get a booster dose?

All healthcare workers who could potentially expose other healthcare workers, patients, or residents to COVID-19, even if the healthcare worker does not work directly with patients or residents. This typically includes:

  • Medical staff;
  • Nursing staff;
  • Clinical staff;
  • Cleaning staff;
  • Food service staff; and
  • Contract staff, students, and volunteers who are at risk of exposing patients, residents, and staff within the facility

 

If this regulation applies to me, when do I need to receive my booster dose?

Personnel have 30 days to receive their booster dose from the day they become eligible. Healthcare facilities included in this regulation must document compliance with the booster requirement by February 21, 2022, but healthcare workers may need to get their booster sooner than February 21, 2022. The Department encourages healthcare workers to contact their workplaces directly to understand specific timing and details required by the facility.

 

If I am not an employee, but a contractor who works with healthcare facilities. Am I included?

Contractors must comply with this regulation if they are under the facility's direct control. This may include:

  • Medical or healthcare professionals who provide care to patients or residents; and
  • Nurses who provide care to patients or residents.

 

What are examples of contract workers who are not subject to this regulation?

Examples of contractors who are NOT subject to this regulation may include:

  • Contracted construction/plumbing/electrical workers hired for a specific job;
  • Medical equipment vendors;
  • Vending machine servicers;
  • One-time or occasional entertainers;
  • EMS, ambulance, or other transportation services provider are not employees or staff of the facility or program; and
  • Law enforcement officers entering the facility in their official capacity

 

Are private companies and private duty healthcare providers subject to this regulation while working in a facility covered by this regulation?

If a person is providing private duty healthcare services, and those services are being provided in a facility that is included in this requirement, the Department expects the private duty provider to coordinate those services with, and receive approval from, such facilities. Such approval constitutes an affiliation with the facility. Therefore, private duty healthcare providers must comply with the regulation.

Private companions who do not provide healthcare services (i.e., hired by the patient/resident or family member to provide companionship only) are not considered to be affiliated with the regulated facility and therefore are not required to comply with the regulation. However, they are encouraged to do so in the interest of protecting the patients or residents of the covered entity.

Additional Information

Why do I need a booster dose?

Booster doses will provide a boost in the fight against COVID-19 so New Yorkers have maximum protection against the virus and safeguard our communities and healthcare facilities from increased spread. That's why New York State is requiring all healthcare workers included in this regulation to get their booster dose – ensuring they can protect themselves as well as the vulnerable patients they care for.

Although COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization, the available data suggest that protection of authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines against COVID-19 infection begins to decrease over time. A booster dose will help eligible New Yorkers maximize their protection, prolong the vaccine's durability, and continue to safeguard our communities against the virus.

 

Which COVID-19 booster dose should I get?

For New Yorkers 18 and older, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (COVID-19 mRNA vaccines) are preferred. You may get Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in some situations.

 

Where can a healthcare worker go for more information on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses?

Visit New York State's dedicated booster site at ny.gov/boosters.

 

If I am an immunocompromised healthcare worker, and already received my additional dose (third dose), do I need a booster dose?

If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised and at least five months past your additional mRNA vaccine dose (third dose), you are eligible for your booster dose (fourth dose).

For more information, you can also read the FAQ here.