BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – The COVID-19 vaccine requirement for healthcare workers in New York State is being repealed, according to the Department of Health.
With the future of the requirement now in question, News 4 spoke to registered nurse Jackie Ettipio, who lost her job because of the warrant. Ettipio, who has been a nurse for 31 years, spent most of her career at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo and served as president of the local CWA union before being fired Dec. 4, 2021.
Ettipio partially retired with some benefits, thinking the situation wouldn’t last as long and she would return to nursing. However, she eventually got another part-time job elsewhere.
“I think the nurses, radiology, respiratory – I think they’re burnt out – the people who stayed on, I think, are burnt out beyond belief because they had to pick up again when we were made redundant. “, Ettipio said. “I think it’s a bit sad also because what happened is that a lot of us were old timers who left, who had a lot of knowledge, who were replaced by travelers from first year. And you just don’t understand that, usually we take them under our wings and teach them.
As to whether Ettipio considered returning to her old job if the warrant was revoked, she said she didn’t know.
The New York State Department of Health released the following statement regarding the potential repeal of the mandate:
“Due to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and changing vaccine recommendations, the New York State Department of Health has begun the process of repealing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for workers in regulated healthcare facilities.Throughout the public health emergency, this vaccine requirement has served as an essential public health tool, helping to protect both workers from the health and the patients they serve.As the repeal of this regulation is awaiting consideration for approval by the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC), the Ministry will not initiate any new measures. However, it should be noted that facilities should continue to implement their own internal policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination.”
New York State Department of Health