NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Nearly 100 employees at Yale New Haven Health not in compliance with the health system's vaccine mandate have been fired, officials said Monday.
A spokesperson said 94 employees have been subjected to termination, however, cautioned that the numbers remain fluid as "we track where each employee is in the process of receiving their first and second vaccination."
"We continue to work with our employees to provide convenient options for vaccination, as well as education to assist with their decision making," the spokesperson said. "A number of our employees will become eligible to receive their second dose within the coming weeks. As long as they receive that second dose, they will not be terminated and they are not included in the aforementioned number. We are working with leaders and employees to ensure compliance with our policy in an effort to provide safest environment for patients and staff.”
Yale New Haven Health requires all members of its workforce (including employees, medical staff, volunteers, students, contractors and traveling staff) to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The health system said the requirement aligns with the Connecticut Hospital Association’s statewide policy endorsing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for hospital and health system employees and clinical staff.
Employees could request a COVID vaccination exemption or deferment for a medical reason or sincerely held religious/spiritual belief.
Monday was the date set for termination for non-compliance.
“I think that everybody should be vaccinated and if you’re not, I don’t know what to tell you," said Linda Mucci, an X-ray tech at Yale New Haven Hospital. “When they first mandated it, I heard people that weren’t, but then they decided to do so in order to save their jobs.”
Ronnie Kelley, a material associate at Yale New Haven Hospital, was one of those people who came around to getting vaccinated.
“I had my doubts about it, but I seen how people are getting sick around me and I’m working in the ER where most of the sick people are coming in. I feel there was a need to get it," said Kelley. “I can only speak for myself. I can’t speak for everybody else, because everybody feels different about getting the shot. If they feel as though it’s not life-threatening, they don’t feel the need to get it.”
Yale New Haven Health laid out this timeline for employees to come into compliance with the mandate:
- Aug. 1, 2021: Applications for medical and religious/spiritual exemptions due
- Aug. 31, 2021: Final day for unvaccinated individuals to receive Dose 1 of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Final day for all employees/medical staff to have a record of COVID-19 vaccine Dose 1 on file with Occupational Health.
- Sept. 30, 2021: Final day for staff to receive Dose 2 of Pfizer or Moderna. Final day for staff who choose to receive the one-dose vaccine (J&J/Janssen). Final day to submit documentation of vaccination outside of a YNHHS-affiliated vaccination clinic.
- Week of Sept. 27, 2021: Verbal warning for non-compliance
- Week of Oct. 4, 2021: Written warning for non-compliance
- Week of Oct. 11, 2021: Suspension for non-compliance
- Oct. 18, 2021: Termination for non-compliance
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