A few of the largest hospital systems in the nation have started dropping the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees. These healthcare systems’ move emerged in the wake of a federal judge temporarily pausing the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
On November 30, a U.S. District Court judge in Louisiana halted the vaccine mandate for various healthcare workers.
Consequently, numerous hospital operators, including Tenet Healthcare and HCA Healthcare, as well as nonprofits such as the Cleveland Clinic and AdventHealth, have dropped the mandates.
After the Biden administration’s sweeping vaccine mandates, numerous hospitals have been unable to retain sufficient staff, including nurses, janitors, and technicians, despite the increase in COVID cases associated with the delta variant.
In addition, the Wall Street Journal also noted that various public health officials, nursing groups, and hospital executives have remarked that vaccine mandates have had a strong impact on lowering the number of available healthcare workers.
According to Wade Symons, who is the head of the consulting firm Mercer’s U.S. regulatory practice, “a mass exodus” occurred, with many healthcare workers “willing to go and shop around.”
“If you get certain healthcare facilities that don’t require it, those could be a magnet for those people who don’t want the vaccine,” Symons continued, “they’ll probably have an easier time attracting labor.”
Multiple thousands of nurses have either lost their jobs or left the industry in order to avoid the vaccine mandates.
In September, 30 percent of employees at well over 2,000 hospitals nationwide were unvaccinated, per data from the CDC.
“We continue to strongly encourage our colleagues to be vaccinated as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus,” Harlow Sumerford, an HCA spokesman, blared to Wall Street Journal.
Prior to the pandemic, several hospitals had difficulty finding workers due to higher levels of burnout; in addition, nurses often sought higher-paying jobs by taking on short-term contracts in national hot-spot areas.
Currently, of 2,640 hospital facilities, it is estimated that 42 percent of all facilities have a mandate in place, per information released by the American Hospital Association.