A new dental-health law that went into effect Monday will make it illegal to purchase a vaccine or other treatment that comes with a warning that it could cause a serious health risk to people who are allergic to the medicine, the New York Times reported.
The law is the latest in a string of measures aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 2,600 people in the U.S. in the last week.
While the vast majority of states and cities have passed such measures, New York has gone a step further and requires that people who have had a serious reaction to a prescription medication get the vaccine or a prescription to use a medical device that contains it.
The city is among a handful of states that have passed laws that have had significant impact on health, with some requiring that doctors give warnings about the vaccine before it is given to patients.
Some other states require that doctors use the vaccine to treat people with preexisting conditions.
While New York State Gov.
Andrew Cuomo has touted the measures as part of his campaign to help reduce the state’s deadly coronaviral strain, he said the legislation has been designed with the sole purpose of reducing the spread of the disease.
He called the law a “game changer,” according to the Times.
“This is about the safety of the residents of New York, and it’s about the health of the New Yorkers that live in the city,” Cuomo said, according to Bloomberg.
“I am proud that New Yorkers, and the entire state of New Yorkers have taken a strong stand against this irresponsible bill.”
New York City is home to the largest number of cases of coronaviruses worldwide, according a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January.
The state, home to more than 6.6 million people, is among the top 10 states with the highest rates of COVID-19 deaths.
In February, New Yorkers learned they would soon be able to get a free vaccine from a private company after the state legislature passed a bill allowing people to get vaccines at health centers, health-care facilities and pharmacies.
The new law was expected to save taxpayers nearly $1 billion over the next five years, the Times reported, citing an analysis by the Institute of Medicine.