The COVID-19 vaccination deadline for New York State healthcare workers is this Monday. Despite the deadline, thousands of healthcare workers in the area have refused to get a shot. The consequence of their refusal is the possibility of getting fired.
Why There Is A Vaccination Mandate
There is a vaccination mandate for New York State healthcare workers as experts believe it is a clear-cut way for them to prevent new waves of virus from spreading and persuade those who still doubt COVID-19 vaccines to get a shot.
According to Westchester Medical Center Health Network, 94 percent of their workers are already vaccinated. The mandate is crucial as it is a “critical part of upholding our mission.”
What Workers Who Refuse To Get Vaccinated Are Saying
Despite the vaccine mandate in New York State, the minority within the healthcare system said they are skeptical of the vaccine. One of them is Deborah Conrad, a physician assistant in western New York. She said that they feel betrayed for choosing between getting vaccinated or getting fired.
Talking to The New York Times, she said: “We were all traumatized, vaccinated and unvaccinated. It’s very hard that the same people who elevated me to this level now look at me as a dangerous person.” Conrad said that she had seen the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, thus her refusal to get vaccinated.
There are two lawsuits regarding the vaccine mandate in New York State. One of which is from Conrad and five other plaintiffs. Last week, a federal judge gave a reprieve to 17 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and medical residents, who sued the state. An extended temporary restraining order for enforcing the mandate was given until Oct. 12. Their lawyer, Stephen Crampton, said in a statement, “There’s this coercive element that is hard to ignore in all of this urgency.”
Who Are And Who Arent’s Supporting The Mandate
The nurses’ union in New York State supports the mandate. Accordingly, 95 percent of their members are already vaccinated.
Those who do not support the mandate are unions representing support workers such as nurses’ aides, orderlies, cafeteria workers, and others.
The Effects Of The Refusal To Get Vaccinated
New York State officials are now preparing for staffing shortages because of the refusal of thousands of healthcare workers to get vaccinated within the given deadline. It is believed that there will be a declaration of a state of emergency so that healthcare professionals licensed outside New York, recent graduates, and even retirees will be allowed to practice.