Nurse practitioner says vaccine mandate will make staffing shortages worse

Western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New York trails behind the state average in healthcare worker vaccinations.

That’s happening despite the upcoming vaccination requirement for healthcare workers.

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Nurse practitioner Rachel Dunn says she’s worried this mandate will only make staffing shortages worse. She’s one of 700 people working with attorney Corey Hogan to challenge this vaccination mandate in court.

“If there is no nurses to take care of the patients, we aren’t going to be able to stay open and I’ll be out of a job anyway,” Dunn says. “I encourage hospitals to fight back. I know they’re being put under the gun as well. But there’s got to be somebody that says no.”

The state’s regulation allows for medical exemptions, and last week, a federal judge issued a temporary order to allow religious exemptions.

In response, Gov. Kathy Hochul says the state will defend its right to protect patients.

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