COVID-19 Update: Governor Issues Vaccine Mandate for Additional Settings 

Situation Report | October 11, 2021 

Vaccine Mandate for Additional Settings 

On October 5, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a plan to expand the health care worker vaccine mandate to include employees who work in certain facilities offering health care to individuals served by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

Under the new directive, staff who work in these settings will be required to show proof of at least the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine series by November 1, without a test-out option. Ahead of that requirement, staff in these settings will be required to submit to weekly testing, if unvaccinated, beginning October 12.    

This new requirement, established within OMH and OPWDD agency regulations, will apply to all individuals working at the psychiatric hospitals in the OMH network, as well as those working at the specialty hospital certified by OPWDD.   

Governor Hochul stated that she plans to continue expanding the vaccine requirement into the human service and mental hygiene care settings in the coming weeks. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends urgent action to increase the COVID-19 vaccination among people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. 


On October 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced two upcoming meetings of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) to discuss newly available data for the currently available COVID-19 vaccines. 

On October 14 and 15, the Advisory Committee will meet to discuss the use of booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Both vaccines are currently authorized for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Committee will also hear presentations and discuss the available data on the use of a booster of a different vaccine than the one used for the primary series of an authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine (heterologous or “mix and match” booster).  

The FDA anticipates receiving a request from Pfizer to amend its emergency use authorization to allow the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 through 11 years of age. In anticipation of the request, the FDA is moving forward with scheduling an Advisory Committee meeting on October 26 to inform the agency’s decision-making. 


The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) will provide an update on COVID-19 for New York City Healthcare Providers on Friday, October 15 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30pm. Registration is at available here.

The program will include:  

  • “COVID-19 and Vaccination During Pregnancy,” by Laura Riley, MD Chair, OB/GYN Weill Cornell School of Medicine; and  
  • “NYC COVID-19 Updates,” by Mary Foote, MD, MPH Health Systems Planning and Strategies Lead, COVID-19 Response NYC DOHMH