New York orders frontline health care workers to get vaccinated

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An ad outside a subway station in New York City calls for people to get vaccinated against Covid-19
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New York state will require all "public-facing" health care workers to get vaccinated from September, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday, as the United States struggles to suppress the Delta variant.

Cuomo said all of the state's tens of thousands of employees would have to show proof of vaccination or face weekly tests from September 6.

But he announced stricter measures for frontline workers at state-run hospitals, saying they would not have the option of being tested.

"New York state will require patient-facing healthcare workers at state hospitals to get vaccinated to help keep both patients and workers safe," Cuomo said.

Earlier this week, California and New York City announced that official workers would need to get vaccinated or take weekly tests.

California's order will apply to almost 240,000 state workers and hundreds of thousands more private-sector health workers, with full compliance required by August 21.

New York City's mandate will go into effect from September 13 and apply to more than 300,000 city personnel, including police, fire fighters and teachers.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to impose a mandate when it announced Monday that it would require more than 100,000 health care personnel to get vaccinated.

The moves come as the United States grapples with boosting vaccination rates, which have stalled badly for months despite the US having the highest supply of any country.

Many unions and critics of mandates have spoken out against required vaccinations, citing personal freedom arguments.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a vaccine mandate for America's more than two million federal workers was now "under consideration."

Some 59 percent of all eligible New York City residents have received at least one vaccine shot.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new incentive Wednesday for residents holding out: $100 when you receive your first dose.

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