Oct 4 (Reuters) – New York State’s largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health, has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations, according to a spokesman, Joe Kemp.
As with other healthcare companies that have recently terminated workers for not complying with vaccine mandates, the fired employees represent a small percentage of Northwell’s workforce of more than 76,000, all of whom are now inoculated.
New York’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers went into effect last week. Several other states, including California, have imposed similar measures.
Officials have credited the requirements with increasing the rate of vaccination, though a small number of employees have decided they would rather lose their jobs than get shots.
Northwell announced its vaccine mandate in August, weeks before the state requirement. The company’s mandate extended to both clinical and non-clinical workers.
“Our goal was not to terminate employees,” Kemp said. “Our goal was to get people vaccinated.”
Kemp said the terminations will have no impact on patient care at Northwell’s 23 hospitals and other facilities.
“Northwell regrets losing any employee under such circumstances,” the company said in a statement. “We owe it to our staff, our patients and the communities we serve to be 100 percent vaccinated against COVID-19.”