Healthcare workers fired for refusing Covid vaccine in US
Since the introduction of vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, the vaccine uptake has improved.
A number of hospitals in New York City have fired and suspended healthcare workers who have refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19, Reuters reports.
At a press conference, the city's Mayor Bill de Blaiso said that, in terms of staff shortages, the city's hospitals had not seen a "major impact" from the vaccine mandate, which requires all healthcare workers to be vaccinated.
However, Mayor de Blaiso added that he worried about other parts of New York where vaccine rates are lower.
The terminations come after President Joe Biden issued a federal vaccine requirement for the 17 million employees who make up the United States' healthcare workforce.
Mr Biden addressed unvaccinated healthcare workers previously, saying: "We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us."
The order is a measure to help curb the growing Covid-19 cases in US hospitals, and it also applies to those working in home health agencies and all other facilities on the Medicaid and Medicare programmes.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that members of the National Guard could be deployed to fill staff shortages at nursing homes and hospitals.
On Monday, Governor Hochul said: "I’m using the full power of the state of New York to ensure that we do everything to protect people."
She added: "This is simple, common sense."
As of Monday night, 92% of hospital staff, 92% of nursing home staff and 89% of staff at adult care facilities in New York had received their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Governor Hochul has said that uptake of the jab improved following the introduction of the vaccine mandate last month.
She said: "This new information shows that holding firm on the vaccine mandate for health care workers is simply the right thing to do to protect our vulnerable family members and loved ones from Covid-19."