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New York -- New York public health workers will no longer be required to be vaccinated against both the seasonal and H1N1 flu virus, state officials announced Thursday, prompted by a vaccine shortage.
A statement from Gov. David Paterson announced the policy change on behalf of State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines.
Daines had originally said that public health workers must be vaccinated for the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, by November 30 or risk discipline.
The Public Employees Federation, New York's second-largest state employees union, sued over the requirement and was awaiting a state Supreme Court hearing scheduled for October 30.
The vaccine shortage has defused the conflict.
The federal government had told states that, by the end of October, an estimated 120 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine would be readily available, according to Paterson and Daines. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have only about 27.7 million doses of the vaccine at month's end. Watch how current flu outbreak compares to years past »
"The CDC acknowledged that New York would only receive approximately 23 percent of its anticipated vaccine supply," Paterson said. "As a result, we need to be as resourceful as we can with the limited supplies of vaccine currently coming into the state."
Originally posted by jtma508
There was another thread on ATS the other day about this. ATS.
The real reason behind it was less to do with the outcry and more to do with the unavailability of vaccine. You can't very well mandate vaccinations when there isn't sufficient vaccine to go around now can you?