When COVID shots first became available in the December of 2020, healthcare workers received priority status. However, some medical professionals decided to hold off on vaccination until more research became available. Almost a year later, these shots are not only recommended but, in many cases, required for healthcare professionals. So, how will vaccine mandates impact healthcare jobs? Here’s what you need to know.
Should There Be a Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Jobs?
This is a matter of opinion. Many people believe healthcare workers should be vaccinated to protect both themselves AND their patients. This especially makes sense for employees who work with populations, such as the elderly, who are at greater risk from COVID. On the other hand, other medical professionals have concerns about the potentially unknown long-term side effects of these vaccines. And, in fact, Pfizer’s Comirnaty, is the only COVID vaccine to have full FDA approval as of fall 2021.
Who’s Setting the Mandates?
Although individual companies can require vaccines for their employees, currently, most mandates are at the federal and state government level. For example, President Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic Plan requires COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating facilities. Additionally, many states have established mandates specifically for those working in healthcare settings. For instance, in late September, New York began firing or suspending healthcare workers who defied the state’s COVID-19 vaccine order.
What About States with Vaccine Mandate Bans?
State-wide bans on vaccine mandates may not be as definitive as they sound. Often, they only apply to state workers. Usually, private companies can require vaccinations regardless of state laws. And throughout the past few months, the courts have continued to rule in favor of employers over employees.
Can I Get an Exemption?
Exemptions may be more difficult for healthcare workers than other groups. Medical exemptions are only granted for those who had a severe allergic reaction to the first COVID shot. Some organizations might allow for a religious exemption if the vaccine conflicts with your “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Yet, this argument could be difficult to prove if you have not opposed vaccines and certain medications in the past.
What If I Decide to Refuse Vaccination?
Unfortunately, you could be fired and you probably won’t be eligible for unemployment because you resisted company policy. Nevertheless, unemployment eligibility requirements vary. Some states are reviewing COVID-related terminations on a case-by-case basis.
If I Don’t Want a COVID Shot, Is There Any Good News?
Yes. Just a few months ago, if you wanted a COVID shot, you had to accept whichever one was available. Now, you have a choice. You can research the three approved and authorized vaccines in the U.S. and easily book an appointment for that vaccine online.
Are You Searching for a New Healthcare Job?
BOS Medical Staffing places talented medical professionals in Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond. We have immediate openings for CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. Learn more about our quick and easy hiring process today!