Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system said Monday that it had fired 1,400 employees who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the company, it used a fast and aggressive approach to achieve 100% vaccination among its 76,000 employees.
Northwell is sorry to have lost any employees in such circumstances. However, as health care professionals and members the state's largest health care provider, we recognize our unique responsibility for protecting the health of our patients, said a spokesperson for Northwell. Our staff, patients, and communities owe us a 100% vaccination against COVID-19.
According to the spokesperson, having fully-vaccinated employees will enable the company provide exceptional care in all its facilities without interruptions and allow them to remain open and operational.
New York's effort to require that more than 650,000 nursing home and hospital workers be vaccinated went into effect last week. Tens of thousands of workers were able to get a shot at the eleventh hour. Some workers still filed lawsuits, which are currently being heard in state courts.
Individuals who refuse to be vaccinated may face suspension or termination. Without a doctor-approved request, individuals who refuse to get vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance. According to the New York Times, very few state workers have been fired due to vaccine refusal and New York will not experience staff shortages.
According to state data, 87 percent of workers in the hospitals of the United States had been vaccinated by Monday.
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