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New vaccine mandate for health care workers and workers in high-risk settings

booster shots
Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 20:54:37-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — With California leading the nation regarding administered doses of the vaccine – Governor Newsom issued a requirement that by February 1, health care workers and all employees in high-risk settings like nursing homes, will be required to get their booster shot.

“We recognize now that just being vaccinated fully vaccinated, is not enough with this new variant and we believe that it is important to extend this requirement to getting that third dose to getting boosted. We are formalizing that February 1st is the deadline to get that done,” Gov. Newsom said in a press conference Wednesday morning.

Healthcare staffing shortages have been a signature issue across the state. With the booster shot, Newsom believes that this is the best way to keep everyone healthy, safe, and staffed. “I think it is a smart move. I think it is a wise move in that context that we need to make sure we don't have staffing shortages. We need to keep all of you healthy and safe and again the best way to do that is to get boosted.”

Newsom stated that as students return to school from winter break, the California Department of Public Health will expand their efforts by providing 1-2 rapid tests for every student.

Dr. Munnainathan of Omni Family Health said that the booster shot is way for us to get in front of the recurring variant issue. He told 23ABC he understands the frustration but it’s also a battle to stay a step ahead.

“It seems like we are always telling them to get this shot and that shot and this booster and another booster so I can understand the frustration. But really, I think of this as a battle with the virus. Just like we're creating more vaccines and protocols to keep our people safe, the virus is also creating new variants to try to survive. That’s what it knows and so we are trying to get in front of that,” said Dr. Munnainathan, Omni Family Healthy.

In the interim, all health care staff that have not received their booster must test for COVID-19 twice weekly until they are up to date on their vaccines.