NEW YORK - All employees in a healthcare facility in the state of New York were expected to be vaccinated starting Tuesday, September 28.
Reports say, 16% of New York state’s 450,000 hospital staff are still not fully-vaccinated. This, despite New York's state health department issuing the vaccine mandate last month.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called on all healthcare workers to do the right thing.
"The only way we can do that is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated, but particularly individuals who are taking care of the people who are sick," said Hochul.
Joy Sanchez-Oligarvez was on the frontline when New York was at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic --back when covid patients were dying every five minutes. She says there is no place for unvaccinated health care workers in any health facility in the state of New York.
As a nurse supervisor, Sanchez-Oligarvez says, unvaccinated workers will have no choice but to resign, go on unpaid administrative leave or get at least one dose of the vaccine to be able to return to work.
"In fact, one of my clerk's last day is on Friday, because she did not get vaccinated so she cannot come back to work. So you have a choice to resign right now or you're gonna be on administrative leave without pay," Sanchez-Oligarvez says.
Those who do take an administrative leave cannot even claim unemployment, paid time off, or use their vacation days. Sanchez-Oligarvez reveals they will be replaced.
"I'm getting 36 new nurses to replace those people that are not being vaccinated. It’s a very very tough job but it's okay because at the end of the day I could see that it is good and it's good for everybody," she says. She adds that vaccination facilities are already accepting walk-in individuals.
As health facilities prepare to fire thousands of unvaccinated healthcare workers for non-compliance to the New York state vaccine mandate, Governor Hochul says she is considering employing the national guard and out-of-state medical workers to fill in the shortage in staffing.