The New Normal: NY health care workers can still seek religious exemptions from statewide vaccine mandate

Health care workers in New York will still be able to seek religious exemptions from the statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate -- for the time being.
A judge’s ruling came in a case involving 17 health care workers who are suing the state.
Donna Schmidt is a registered nurse and the founder of the group New Yorkers Against Medical Mandates.
“Today’s ruling is certainly encouraging,” Schmidt says. “Not only the ruling but also some of the things that the judge had to say in the context of that ruling.”
She says she is against the vaccine requirement due to spiritual and religious reasons, as well as the way it has been mandated with no exemptions at first.
“I’m fighting for a lot of reasons,” Schmidt says.
She says she wants to wait and see what happens from a safety perspective.
Dr. Rahul Gupta of Hartford Health Care St. Vincent’s Medical Center says he thinks all front-line workers should be vaccinated, but everyone has a right to weigh their own pros and cons.
He does believe that the vaccines are safe, and we are lucky that they were available so quickly.
“The data and science clearly speaks for the vaccines,” Gupta says.
The doctor says there could be a slight uptick this winter in COVID-19 cases because of vaccines wearing off and not everyone being eligible for the booster.
He says that he hopes that the pandemic could be coming to an end by the end of winter or early spring.