NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Health care workers in New York state must have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday.
Saturday, Gov. Kathy Hochul increased the pressure on vaccine holdouts, announcing a plan to replace fired workers, including bringing in the National Guard.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
Medial assistant Junior Reynoso, of Washington Heights, works at an office in Hell’s Kitchen, helping people get COVID tests and vaccinations.
“I don’t want to get vaccinated,” he told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
He’s unvaccinated and vows to remain that way for now, despite Monday’s deadline.
“I’m ready to lose my job, and there’s a lot of jobs out there that you don’t need to be vaccinated,” Reynoso said.
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Some medical staffers who are vaccine holdouts want the courts or the governor to stall.
Instead, Hochul is ramping up pressure.
“If we can get the holdouts to understand the power they have to help us get back to normal, then I’m pleading them to see it in that perspective,” she said Thursday.READ MORE: NYC Teacher, Principal Unions Warn Of School Staffing Shortages When Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect; De Blasio Says Substitutes Standing By
Hochul announced Saturday a possible state of emergency if severe staffing shortages result.
By executive order, the state could borrow staff from out of state, out of the country and bring back retired workers. Medically trained National Guard members could also be brought in.
The state says health care workers who lose their jobs because they won’t get vaccinated will not be eligible for unemployment insurance unless they can show valid exemptions approved by doctors.
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Leaders of the Mount Sinai Health System told CBS2 the vast majority of its workers are vaccinated, saying, “We anticipate less than 1% leave us because of unwillingness to be vaccinated.”
“I think they should be vaccinated because they’re the ones giving the vaccinations to other people as well,” Bronx resident Cato Morgan said.
“Let them lose their jobs,” Midtown resident Melody Brooks said. “Seven hundred thousand people dead. We’re on track to lose a million. It’s not a personal choice because it affects everybody.”
“We will find out on Monday,” Reynoso said.MORE NEWS: Understaffing At Nursing Homes Leaves Residents Vulnerable Amid Pandemic, Now Vaccine Mandate Could Make It Worse
Reynoso says he will report to work Monday but feels certain he’ll be turned away.