Healthcare workers union urges members to get COVID-19 vaccination


ALBANY – The president of a healthcare union is urging his members to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. “We believe it is a vital tool to help us move forward from COVID-19,” said George Gresham, head of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. “We do not, however, support a mandate. As healthcare workers, we know that our members are the most trusted on the issue, and well-equipped to make the best possible choices to protect themselves, their families, and their patients.”

Gresham said the vaccine “is a critical step forward to help protect our members’ health, and to put an end to this devastating pandemic that has ravaged our nation.”

Noting testing has shown the vaccine to be safe and effective, “any side effects are minimal and short-lived,” he said. “Simply put, after what we have seen over the last nine months, the risks of doing nothing are more dangerous.”

Now that the vaccine has been approved by the FDA and state, nursing home residents and healthcare workers will be the first to be vaccinated.

Gresham reminded workers that wearing masks and other PPE, socially distancing and following other workplace safety procedures should still be practiced.