Unions Fight Back against Vaccine Mandates

 On the menu today: Hospitals, nursing homes, police forces, firehouses, and prisons are left to grapple with the ramifications of the Biden administration’s decision to require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or run weekly tests. Also, there’s a special opportunity for that exceptionally small demographic of people who can’t get enough of me.

The Unions Resisting the Vaccine Mandates

You probably heard about the New York hospital that has paused its maternity services as employees quit instead of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. “Six employees at the Lewis County Health System have resigned, and seven more are unwilling to get vaccinated, meaning Lewis County General Hospital will stop delivering babies for the time being.”

Little of the coverage of this hospital has noted that Lewis County has fewer than 27,000 people, the fourth-least populated county in New York, and there’s been little follow-up coverage noting that ten other employees have resigned, while another 13 chose to get vaccinated.

No doubt the “get vaccinated or get fired” approach feels good to the vaccinated who, in President Biden’s words, want to tell the unvaccinated, “Our patience is wearing thin.” But will Americans be as eager to enforce this policy when the people who chose to leave their jobs over their vaccination status have vital duties, especially amidst a shortage of trained workers?

Is the vaccine mandate worthwhile if it exacerbates the pressure on hospitals that it was supposed to relieve?

Many public-health experts paint the remaining unvaccinated as ignorant, paranoid, and uninformed about how vaccines and viruses work. But do those labels apply to health-care workers who don’t want to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

For example: “The Michigan Nurses Association remains opposed to mandates, saying they will drive vaccine-hesitant nurses to quit rather than submit to inoculation. The union contends such decisions are ‘best decided democratically by health care workers themselves and need to be subject to collective bargaining.’ A recent survey by the American Nurses Association found that roughly 13 percent of nurses did not plan to get vaccinated or remained unsure.” The Henry Ford hospital system in Michigan can now boast a 98 percent vaccination rate among its staff — but it also just announced it was closing 120 beds across five hospitals because of a staff shortage. The hospital system didn’t say the staff shortage is driven by the vaccine mandate, but clearly the world has nurses and medical staff who don’t want to get vaccinated.

survey of University of Cincinnati Medical Center nurses conducted by the Ohio Nurses Association in August found that 136 out of 456 nurses who responded said they would quit rather than get vaccinated. In San Diego, “health care providers have reported over 1,700 requests for exemptions from the vaccine requirement — most of them based on religious objections.”

What if those needed workers quit, as some in Alabama fear?

According to Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, a few hospitals in the state have already opted for mandatory vaccinations, and the hospitals that haven’t strongly encourage them.

“Some of them have gotten over 80 percent of their employees vaccinated without going the mandatory route,” Williamson said. “So what we want to see is everybody get vaccinated, and we want that to happen in a way that doesn’t force people to make a dichotomous choice to either stay in health care and get vaccinated or get out of the health care system.”

If some health care workers would rather quit than get vaccinated, it would only further contribute to what Williamson called a “dire” staffing shortage in the state. It would also further exhaust an already overworked and fatigued health care system.

“We are short-staffed in every department,” Harris said. “And so it is very draining. It’s physically draining, but it’s also mentally draining.”

Williamson said there may be exceptions for why a health care worker can opt out of the White House’s new vaccine mandate, but until we know what those rules and exceptions are, it’s premature for health care workers to jump to the conclusion that they are going to have to be vaccinated.

“Rather than getting so invested in the idea that ‘I’m going to have to quit because I’m not going to be vaccinated,’ pause. Don’t make any commitments. Don’t make any life plans based on a presidential proposal,” Williamson said.

It’s also not just nurses. Back when Biden announced that all nursing-home staff would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living warned that, “Industry leaders are deeply concerned that it may cause a mass exodus from the nursing home profession, leaving frail seniors without the caregivers and access to care they need.”

Unions Fight Back against Vaccine Mandates Unions Fight Back against Vaccine Mandates Reviewed by Your Destination on September 14, 2021 Rating: 5

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