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Vaccine laggards only make up 1.8% of New York’s largest healthcare provider – they are now sacked

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Enlarge / A city-operated mobile pharmacy advertises the COVID-19 vaccine in a Brooklyn neighborhood on July 30, 2021, in New York City.

Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, announced Monday that it had fired only a portion of its staff for failing to meet the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate – and it There will be no disruption of patient care at the 23 hospitals in the system. and more than 830 ambulatory care facilities.

In total, Northwell only fired 1,400 of its more than 76,000 members, or about 1.8%.

“Northwell Health is proud to announce that our workforce, the largest in New York State, is 100% vaccinated,” the company said in a statement. “This allows us to continue to provide exceptional care across all of our facilities without disruption and to remain open and fully operational. “

“Northwell regrets having lost an employee in such circumstances,” added the health care provider, referring to the 1,400 employees made redundant. “We owe it to our staff, patients and the communities we serve to be 100% vaccinated against COVID-19. “

The same story seems to be playing out across the state and country as the warrants come into effect. Although a larger portion of the workforce initially resisted adhering to immunization mandates, few followed through to the point of losing their jobs.

In survey results released late last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 50% of unvaccinated respondents said they would not be vaccinated against COVID-19 if their employer required it. But a recent informal analysis by public communication researchers found that it seems common that only a small fraction of workers end up losing their jobs because of vaccines.

Forcing success

A tenure at Indiana University Health, for example, resulted in just 0.3% of the workforce resigning, the researchers noted in their analysis, published by the nonprofit journal The Conversation. Only 0.6% of Houston Methodist Hospital workers ended up quitting a vaccination warrant, despite great publicity from vocal objectors. And only 2% of Delta Air Lines employees quit because they either had to get the vaccine or pay an insurance surcharge of $ 200 per month.

“In other words, vaccination warrants are unlikely to lead to a wave of resignations, but they are likely to lead to increased vaccination rates.”

This is playing out in New York, which has a particularly strict mandate for healthcare workers. The state offers no alternatives to vaccination, such as weekly tests or expensive supplements. It also does not allow religious exemptions, although this issue faces legal challenges.

While authorities in New York have braced that tens of thousands of healthcare workers may lose their jobs during the tenure, the result has largely been the departure of small fractions, with little impact on patient care. In many cases, vaccinees rushed to get vaccinated in the days leading up to the Monday, September 27 deadline. At the time, Eric Appelbaum, the chief medical officer at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, told the New York Times that the percentage of hospital workers who received at least one dose rose to 94 percent this Monday, compared to just 88 percent the previous Friday.

Likewise, Northwell spokesman Joe Kemp told The Times on Monday that a few thousand of their employees had rushed to get their snapshots before the deadline. And some, who initially lost their jobs because they were not vaccinated, returned after receiving a first dose. Dismissed Northwell employees have 30 days to get vaccinated and apply for reinstatement. But Kemp noted that Northwell “openly recruited” for the newly vacant positions. “The aim was to get people vaccinated, not to fire them,” he said.

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