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Hospitals across the nation are dealing with a serious shortage of workers as thousands decided the would not submit to the government’s mandatory vaccine orders.
Lewis County General Hospital in New York will stop delivering babies after September 24 because too many maternity unit workers have resigned over COVID vaccination mandates.
At least 6 employees in the maternity unit resigned rather than get a COVID shot and another 7 are undecided.
One hospital CEO told Bloomberg internal models estimated up to 15% of his nurses would quit if vaccines were mandated. Administrators determined that was more than they stood to lose to infections and quarantines, so they opted against the requirement, but Biden’s latest action might leave them with little choice.
According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, 22 states already had mandates for health care workers in place, but states and facilities that instituted requirements have often been met with lawsuits, protests, and resignations.
Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said his organization supports vaccine mandates for health care workers. Still, he urged the Biden administration to work with hospitals to develop “aggressive and creative strategies” to ensure they have sufficient staffing.
A recent American Nurses Association survey found nearly 12% of nurses do not plan to get vaccinated, with most citing concerns about safety or doubts that immunization is necessary. More than two-thirds of respondents supported vaccine mandates for at least hospital workers who deal with the public.
A Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation survey earlier this year found almost 20% did not intend to get vaccinated, and one-in-six would rather quit than take a shot if mandated. Those who were not directly involved with treating and diagnosing patients in hospitals were much more likely to be hesitant than frontline workers.