UPDATED 9:23 AM PT – Sunday, September 19, 2021
Hospitals across the U.S. are facing shortages over vaccine mandates. While some public health experts have said new vaccine mandates may not show its impact for several months, hospitals are already facing staffing shortage as workers are refusing to be vaccinated.
In New York, hospital and nursing home employees are required to get vaccinated in the coming weeks or face the possibility of losing their jobs. President and CEO of Thompson Health, Michael Stapleton, said the vaccine mandate could lead to even more of an increase in job openings as there are workers who still haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re going to lose people over this mandate. That breaks my heart,” said Stapleton. “These are great people who have cared for our community over and over again. They’ve dedicated their careers to taking care of people and now they’re not going to potentially be able to. That’s horrible.”
Meanwhile in Texas, Brownfield Texas Regional Center said they could close down if they lose too many workers over forced vaccinations. In addition, CEO of Seminole Hospital District, Larry Gray, said that while vaccinations are encouraged for his staff, he doesn’t believe mandating the vaccine is appropriate.
“I think the mandate is just a terrible message because if the vaccinations are working, why do you have to mandate people to get the vaccines? What happens to individual choice and medical decisions between the patient and their doctor, which is all of the things we’re trying to support,” conveyed Gray.
A growing number of health care workers have also begun questioning how vaccine mandates can be enforced. Kasie Barrett, a Duke Health employee, said she’s curious as to how anyone could have the authority to mandate anything on another individual. Barrett went on to say she had a right to choose.
In the meantime, while many are hopeful vaccine mandates will be helpful, others believe the mandates will backfire and people will continue to resist.