COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate Deadline Passes at Wentworth-Douglass
The deadline for complying with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has passed but it's not yet known how many workers could lose their jobs.
The Dover hospital had a deadline of October 15 for workers to be fully vaccinated. Wentworth-Douglass is part of Massachusetts General Hospital and in July, Mass General Brigham officials announced that it is requiring its 80,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Wentworth-Douglass spokesman Adam Bagni told Seacoast Current prior to the deadline that only a very small number of our employees remain non-compliant with the policy.
"Employees who don’t comply will be placed on administrative leave and given a grace period to receive their vaccination. Religious and medical exemptions were also thoughtfully analyzed and considered," Bagni said in a statement.
Mass General Brigham told Boston Business Journal that 5,000 employees had not reported their status as of the end of September.
Wentworth-Douglas leadership was fully behind the mandate.
"Our culture is that of putting our patients first, and many of them are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. When we protect ourselves, we protect those we care for, which is our core responsibility,” Jeffrey Hughes, President & CEO of Wentworth-Douglass said in a statement.
Members of the group NHPatriotHub.org held protests outside the hospital in the days leading to the deadline. A spokeswoman for the group did not return several messages from Seacoast Current about the mandate deadline.
Two New Jersey health care groups, RWJ Barnabas and Virtua Healthcare, fired a total of 238 employees for non-compliance with their mandates.
While New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu is a supporter of the COVID-19 vaccine he is against vaccine mandates. He is concerned that the federal mandate requiring hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments to fully vaccinate their staffs could be short handed.