Hospitals poised to fire noncompliant staff as vaccine mandates go into effect

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The vaccine mandate continues to loom large over society and, for one industry, the decision is coming to a head.

Thursday marked the deadline for health care workers to show proof they have their first dose of a one-dose regimen or their second dose of a two-dose regimen.

Judy Mark, President of Disability Voices United, said her at-risk son is vaccinated. Her organization advocates on behalf of people with disabilities.

“I am a mother of a 24-year-old son with autism who is very at risk when he walks into the community,” Mark said. “People that I care about — my son and his friends — it’s critical that all of the staff are vaccinated.”

Mark’s group was an important voice in getting the vaccine mandate in place for health care workers.

Now, hospitals across California are following it.

FOX40 reached out to many Northern California health organizations about this mandate. Read the statements below:

In an industry facing a staffing shortage, some believe firing healthcare workers because they don’t want to get the vaccine will worsen the situation.

But Mark believes there’s more at stake.

“They are here to serve others. You went into this field to serve others,” Mark said. “There are lots of other fields where you are not serving others and helping people. We hope you will put that person first, that person who is at risk before your own concern, before your own hesitancy.”

UC Davis Health said nearly 94% of their employees have been vaccinated and only about 50 individuals remain noncompliant. They also said staffing is not an issue.

Kaiser Permanente told FOX40, since August, they have increased employee vaccination rates from 78% to more than 90%. Sutter Health said 92% of their employees are vaccinated, and Dignity Health said nearly 90% of their California employees are vaccinated or have received an exemption.

Employees who don’t comply could likely be fired and many hospitals have set a deadline. Kaiser Permanente said that starts Friday.

Those who have not met the vaccination requirement, nor have been approved for an exemption, could be placed on unpaid administrative leave on Oct. 1 and risk termination by Dec. 1.

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