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Screws Tighten on Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers

Health and Gender Policy Brief #137 | By: S. Bhimji | October 16, 2021

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Photo taken from: The Associated Press

Policy Summary

By now most people in the country are fed up with unvaccinated individuals. For whatever reason, there are still a significant number of Americans who are still refusing to be vaccinated against Covid. And sadly a great many of these unvaccinated individuals are healthcare professionals that include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, EMS technicians, nursing assistants, and lab technicians. 

First, these healthcare workers refused the vaccine citing that it was unsafe. After numerous clinical trials done both in the US and abroad, showing minimal risk to vaccination, these healthcare workers still remain unconvinced. Now, despite overwhelming data showing that vaccination against Covid prevents serious infections and death, these individuals have refused the shot citing all kinds of beliefs. 

It is estimated that anywhere from 10%-25% of healthcare workers remain unvaccinated. There has always been a belief in these unvaccinated healthcare workers that they are essential in the fight against Covid and will not be terminated. In addition, many of them feel that even if they are fired, they can always go work in other healthcare institutions, clinics, or even start their own practice. Well, many US states are about to change the work options for these  workers.

Policy Analysis

Already many hospitals have started to fire healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated and if these healthcare workers think they will get another job, they are seriously wrong. State licensing boards in some states have stepped in to help fight the Covid pandemic and they have stated that healthcare workers who refuse to be vaccinated may lose their license to practice. Others may face suspension, revocation, and non-renewal of their license, which will make it very difficult to get a job in their profession anywhere in the continental USA. And once a license is lost, it is not only difficult to get it back but it is an expensive endeavor.

Photo taken from: The New York Times

And to make matters worse, for those who refuse to be vaccinated and do not have a religious or disability exemption, and are fired, they may not be eligible for unemployment compensation.

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