"New evidence is showing that H1N1 can be especially virulent to pregnant women and young people, so they should get vaccinated first," said Richard Daines, the state health commissioner.
Workers protested Daines' earlier order that health care workers receive the vaccine, claiming it was unfair to force them to put a substance into their body. Unions and health workers sued the state, and a judge issued a temporary restraining order last week against the mandate.
"This is welcome news," said Carl Korn, a spokesman for New York State United Teachers union. "This suit was never about the safety of the vaccine, or the merits of it. The suit was always about giving individuals the choice, as adults, as to whether or not they wanted to be vaccinated without the threat of termination."
The Health Department initially had said the workers must be vaccinated by Nov. 30. Institutions had to determine how to enforce the mandate, leaving some workers concerned about possible disciplinary action, including dismissal.
This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allowed the state to order 146,300 doses of vaccine, but health care providers across the state have requested more than 1.4 million doses.
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