SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Health is “exploring its options” after a state Supreme Court judge struck down a statewide mandate requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the agency said Saturday.
Judge Gerard Neri wrote in a ruling released Friday that Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and the health department overstepped their authority by mandating a vaccine that's not included in state public health law, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
The mandate is "null, void, and of no effect,” the judge said. He sided with Medical Professionals for Informed Consent, a group of medical workers impacted by the vaccination mandate.
The mandate protects people most at-risk for serious symptoms and the people who care for them, the health agency said in a statement to The Associated Press.
“The requirement is a critical public health tool," the agency said. “The State Health Department strongly disagrees with the judge’s decision and is exploring its options.”