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Yale New Haven Health gets 99% compliance with its employee vaccine mandate

Yale New Haven Hospital
Yale New Haven Hospital
Yale New Haven Hospital

Less than 1% of Yale New Haven Health employees are expected to be terminated next week, if they do not get vaccinated against COVID-19 before then. It’s part of a mandate that the hospital announced in June.

A total of 225 unvaccinated workers out of nearly 30,000 people employed in the health system have been given written notice of suspension until their expected termination date on October 18.

Dr. Ohm Deshpande, associate chief clinical officer, said if workers get vaccinated before then, they can keep their jobs. He said the vaccine mandate has been successful with over 99% of works in compliance.

“It’s pretty much turning out as we expected, we have around 29,000 employees and we’ve had an enormous amount of progress since we implemented the vaccine mandate,” Deshpande said.

Deshpande said the unvaccinated work mainly in the food and cleaning service sectors, as well as nursing. He said Yale New Haven Health systems has over 10,000 nurses for all hospitals, medical groups and facilities, so it “stands to reason” they would make up a large number of the 225 workers who are unvaccinated.

Deshpande expected 100 to 200 employees to leave after the deadline next week, and said he is still surprised workers would not take the vaccine.

“As a physician, and someone who’s been through what we’ve all been through over the last two years, it’s surprising to me that people would not take advantage of this really powerful intervention to protect ourselves from COVID,” Deshpande said.

The health system gave out 700 exemptions or deferrals for the mandate. Two thirds of the exemptions are for religious reasons, and one-third are medical.

Yale New Haven Health includes Yale New Haven, Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London and Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island, as well as the Northeast Medical Group.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.