HARTFORD, Conn. — As states across the country see an uptick in COVID-19 cases, more than 50 healthcare organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, issued a joint statement supporting mandatory vaccines for health and long-term care workers.
In Connecticut, several hospital systems have already taken that step. Among them, Hartford Healthcare.
President and CEO of Hartford Healthcare Jeffrey Flaks appeared on The Real Story Sunday morning, explaining that more than 80% of full-time workers are vaccinated already. However, there is still a population that needs to be reached.
"We're hopeful that through the education we have in place, through the outreach we have in place, through the access that we've put in place, that we're going to successfully work and reach the vast majority of our colleagues at Hartford Healthcare," he said.
Dr. Manisha Juthani, an infectious disease physician and Governor Lamont's pick for new public health commissioner, said she believes it's the responsibility of healthcare workers to get vaccinated.
"My feeling, particularly among healthcare settings, is the most vulnerable come to us in moments of need and sickness, and it is our duty to protect people that are coming to us for care," she said.
Yale-New Haven Health also requires its employees to get vaccinated by September 30th.
Gabriela Cepeda, a radiology resident, said her employer requires workers to get vaccinated. She said she decided to get vaccinated after seeing the effects of COVID-19 firsthand working in New York City at the height of the pandemic.
"I was able to live through the hardest part of the pandemic, like actually taking care of the patients, like very sick patients with covid, so I think that actually got to me," she said.
Cepeda said she believes that healthcare workers should lead by example.
"If doctors they don't get vaccinated, then I think people who don't work in healthcare then they're like 'ok the doctors are not getting vaccinated, maybe there's a reason why they're not doing it, so I'm not going to do it,'" she said.
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