ALBANY, NY (WENY) -- The New York State Department of Health announced Wednesday, May 24th that it was repealing the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare workers. The move to end the mandate comes after years of legal challenges and thousands of health care workers in the state losing their jobs, retiring, resigning or furloughed. 

"Due to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving vaccine recommendations, the New York State Department of Health has begun the process of repealing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for workers at regulated health care facilities," said a statement issued by the DOH. 

The statement continues, "Throughout the public health emergency, this vaccine requirement served as a critical public health tool, helping to protect both health care workers and the patients under their care. As the repeal of this regulation awaits consideration for approval by the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC), the Department will no longer enforce the requirement. However, it should be noted that facilities should continue to implement their own internal policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination.”