Mayo Clinic Fired 1% of Employees for Not Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

Mayo Clinic is laying off about 1% of its 73,000 employees for not meeting COVID-19 vaccination requirements by Monday’s deadline.

Patient needs come first, and Mayo Clinic is firmly behind the evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, the health system in Rochester, Minnesota said in a statement. The health care system did not disclose the exact number of employees it fired.

“While the Mayo Clinic is saddened by the loss of valuable staff, we must take all steps necessary to keep our patients, employees, visitors and communities safe,” the health system said in a statement. “If people who are laid off from their jobs decide to get vaccinated later, they have the option to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future vacancies.” Mayo Clinic announced its vaccination mandate last July.

To meet the requirement, workers must receive at least one dose of COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine by January 3. In addition, those who were eligible for the second dose of the vaccine by that date should have received it. According to the company, the nonprofit health care system granted most requests for medical and religious benefits.

The Mayo Clinic, Minnesota’s largest employer, noted that 1% of employees laid off due to vaccination requirements are comparable to other health care systems.

“Based on scientific evidence and data, it is clear that vaccinations keep people from going to the hospital and save lives,” the Mayo Clinic said in a statement. “This is true for everyone in our community, and especially for the many patients with serious or complex medical conditions who visit Mayo Clinic on a daily basis.”

The COVID-19 vaccination commitment has become a tightrope for health systems as they grapple with an acute nurse shortage, exacerbated by the pandemic. Some hospital operators are desperate to keep the nurses at bay and fear the punishment will worsen the situation, especially as the omicron option causes more hospitalizations.

As President Joe Biden’s mandates to vaccinate COVID-19 are in legal uncertainty, several major healthcare systems have canceled their own mandates, with the exception of states where they are still required. HCA Healthcare in Nashville, Tennessee, Tenet Healthcare in Dallas and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio are among those who have suspended their mandates.

The Supreme Court is due to hear oral arguments on Friday about whether to allow Health Centers and Medicaid Services a mandate to vaccinate health care workers and an OSHA mandate for most private sector employees, while multiple lawsuits challenging them are pending appeal. … …

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