Some US health care workers are ignoring vaccine deadlines

With deadlines for health care workers to receive coronavirus vaccinations either past or early, it is clear that only a fraction of those workers across the country are choosing to risk their jobs by failing to comply. is choosing.

The consequences employers warned about are becoming a reality.

UCHealth System in Colorado fired 119 employees this week; California-based Kaiser Permanente has suspended more than 2,200 employees; And 400 workers have resigned from the Henry Ford health system in Detroit instead of getting vaccinated.

On Friday, UCHealth, a nonprofit system serving the Rocky Mountain region, sent the last of several email reminders to 119 employees — 0.5 percent of its workforce — who had not received a vaccine or medical or religious exemptions. He had already been dropped from the weekend’s schedule and was notified this week of his termination.

“Of course we would prefer 100 percent compliance,” Dan Weaver, vice president of communications, said in an interview on Wednesday. He said the dismissed employees were “encouraged” to reapply for their positions after vaccination.

Kaiser Permanente, which is based in California and one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health plans, announced its vaccination requirement on August 2, when 78 percent of its workforce had already been vaccinated. A spokesman said on Wednesday that the level had risen to more than 92 percent.

Still, about 1 percent of Kaiser’s workforce nationwide — or about 2,200 workers — were placed on unpaid administrative leave because they didn’t meet the vaccine requirement, the spokesperson said. They have until December 1 to be vaccinated to be able to return to work. “We expect none of our employees to choose to quit their jobs instead of getting vaccinated, but we won’t know for sure until then,” he said.

The Henry Ford health system required its employees to comply with its vaccination requirement by last Friday. The system announced Tuesday that 99 percent of its 33,000 employees were fully vaccinated, soon to get their second dose or had received a medical or religious exemption.

But around 400 employees have resigned because of necessity, and new employees have already made up for the loss, officials said.

At Henry Ford, Bob Rinney, president and chief operating officer of health care operations, said people who had left the company could reapply once they were vaccinated.

“We are doing everything we can to keep those doors open,” Mr Rini told reporters. “Whatever their choices, we wish them the best and appreciate the years of service they provided to our community and organization.”

On Monday, New York state’s largest health care provider, Northwell Health, announced that 1,400 employees – less than 2 percent of its workforce – had refused to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and had to leave their jobs.

President Biden announced a mandate on September 9 that requires workers in nearly every hospital and health system in the country to receive vaccinations or weekly coronavirus tests.

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