New York’s mandate for health workers to receive the COVID was in effect on Monday night.
Several hospital networks, including Northwell Health, have already dismissed more than two dozen workers in the health sector. Others will have 30 days to get a COVID vaccine or lose their jobs.
Officials say 16% of the state’s hospital workers, or some 83,000 people, are not fully vaccinated. More than 8% of the state’s hospital workers have not received a single dose. This puts them at high risk for termination.
Steven Corwin is the CEO and president of New York-Presbyterian Hospitals. It’s one the biggest systems in America. He said that he thinks a mandate should be issued to ensure everyone gets vaccinated.
Before its own vaccination deadline last week, 30% of staff were unvaccinated. However, less than 1 percent refused to get the vaccine and quit after the deadline.
“So out of 48,000 employees and affiliated physicians, we have less than 220 that have not chosen to get the vaccine,” Corwin told CBS News’ Errol Barnett.
At Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, about 5% of the staff, roughly 400 people, are unvaccinated and on leave.
“We stopped elective inpatient surgeries. Some of our outpatient visits were stopped. We have stopped ICU transfers to rural referral hospitals. “We’ve requested more time with the state for strategies to ensure as many people get vaccinated as possible,” stated Tom Quatroche (president and CEO) of Erie County Medical Center.
Monday’s press conference saw Kathy Hochul, New York Governor, announce plans to send National Guard soldiers to hospitals such as ECMC that are shortstaffed.
However, some state employees are challenging the directive. This includes nurse Deborah Conrad.
” I am wearing the exact same PPE that I wore throughout the pandemic. It has always protected me and my patients. “Why has this changed?” She said.
The Western New York nurse said she still feels uncomfortable taking the shot despite medical data that has been released that the vaccines offer strong protection against severe illness.
” Are you ready to lose your job? Barnett asked.
“A career that I’ve loved for almost 20 years, I am prepared,” Conrad replied.
In New York City, the vaccination mandate for teachers is expected to take effect later this week. The teachers’ union says 97% of its members are vaccinated and the city says roughly 7,000 education workers were vaccinated over the weekend.
Editor’s note: This article and the headline have been updated to reflect the latest vaccination numbers from New York state. About 16% of New York health care workers are not fully vaccinated; 8% haven’t had a first dose as required by the state mandate.
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