New York Medical College Professor Dr. Bob Lahita believes vaccine mandates for health care workers are necessary despite the policy receiving some pushback.
"Police officers, fire department people, nurses and doctors should have a mandate of the vaccine because they're in close contact with infected people every hour of the day," Lahita said on FOX Business' "Varney and Co."
The doctor said it’s "unfathomable" to him that workers in the health care industry would not get the vaccine.
"I don't think it should be mandated for the general public," he added. "The public has a right to refuse something that's injected into them."
Several protests have been sparked in New York City recently over Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statewide order requiring health care workers to receive at least one coronavirus vaccine jab by Sept. 27 or face termination. The new governor told unvaccinated New York health care workers the state will be "replacing people" who do not comply.
There are plans to have medically-trained National Guard members fill in the gap for those health care workers either placed on leave or relieved of their jobs.
Lahita supports COVID vaccine requirements despite possible staffing shortages and likened the policy to past flu vaccine mandates in hospitals.
"We mandate the flu vaccine in addition to the COVID vaccine, and we are mandating now the booster for those employees who are over 65," he told host Stuart Varney. "So, yeah, it's very important."
Fox News’ Breck Dumas contributed to this article.