The vaccination rate for New York hospital employees rose Monday night as the deadline for the first shot arrived, but some are still refusing to get it and risk losing their jobs, while others remain “very scared.”
Monday, September 27, marked the deadline for New York hospital workers to get their first dose of the vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus, as announced by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in August.
According to preliminary data from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office, the vaccination rate for hospital employees rose to 92 percent as the deadline arrived.
In the New York City public hospital system, more than 8,000 workers were unvaccinated a week ago. But by Monday morning that number had dropped to 5,000 — just over 10 percent of the work force. Although those unvaccinated employees were not permitted to work, city officials said that they felt they could manage the gaps.
On Monday, Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital announced they increased the staff vaccination rate from 92 percent to 95.5 percent over the course of a week, “meaning that less than 300 employees out of 16,000 will be fired if they don’t relent.”
Kathleen Parrinello, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said some employees “still very scared.”
“So they need hand-holding and reassurance,” she continued.
Demonstrators protested outside of that particular hospital Monday, chanting “My body, my choice” and “we will not comply”:
Lots of people protesting NYS healthcare vaccine mandate in front of Strong Hospital. pic.twitter.com/mS4Vs1nRFx
— Dan Schrack (@DanSchrack) September 27, 2021
“I’m not too worried. If I get fired, I’m already planning on moving to Alabama,” Mykola Babchuk, a respiratory therapist, said, according to WHAM.
“They respect my bodily autonomy, their governor protects me, and I have no worries there. With the amount of people that are supporting our autonomy there, I feel safe,” Babchuk added.
Over the weekend, Gov. Hochul said she was considering deploying medically-trained members of the National Guard to address potential staffer shortages.