Nearly 99% of Yale New Haven Health employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, an official said Friday, leaving 393 holdouts who could face termination.
Dr. Ohm Desphande, the hospital system’s vice president of population health, said verbal warnings went out to unvaccinated employees early this week, with written warnings set for next week. Anyone who is still unvaccinated at that point will be terminated the following week.
Deshpande estimates that between 100 and 200 employees will ultimately lose their jobs.
“It will cause some operational pain. It will probably require us to offer more overtime and things of that nature,” Deshpande said. “It’s not great, especially when we have 3,000 vacancies across the health system at present, but I don’t know that it’s going to have a dire impact on our ability to take care of patients at the quality we want to.”
About half of unvaccinated employees are per-diem workers, while the other half are full time, Deshpande said. He said those employees are spread across numerous facilities and job categories but that nurses make up one notable chunk.
Yale New Haven, like the rest of Connecticut’s major hospitals, has mandated vaccination for all employees, following guidance from the Connecticut Hospital Association.
Hartford HealthCare announced Thursday that 98% of its 34,000 employees were vaccinated, leaving about 500 holdouts. Trinity Health of New England had about 95% of employees vaccinated as of early this week. Neither health system was able to provide updated numbers Friday.
Unlike state employees, hospital workers do not have the choice to get tested regularly for COVID-19 instead of getting vaccinated. Though a small number have received medical or religious exemptions, the rest are expected to be vaccinated.
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