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Unvaccinated CT health care workers set to be terminated

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Yale New Haven Health expects to dismiss more than 100 employees who have failed to meet the health care system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Dr. Thomas Balcezak, the system’s chief clinical officer, told reporters Monday that about 400 of the Yale New Haven Health’s 30,0000 workers have not received a shot or an exemption in advance of Friday’s deadline.

Balcezak said Yale New Haven Health will send out verbal warnings to unvaccinated employees this week, which could be escalated to written warnings next week and termination by Oct. 18.

He estimates that eventually “at least 100” workers will be let go. He said most of the unvaccinated employees are from environmental services, food services or the system’s financial office, He said very few are doctors, nurses or other licensed professionals.

He said those who receive termination notices will be given a chance to change their minds.

“If they want to get themselves vaccinated, they’re welcome to come back,” he said. “Our goal is not to have employees terminated from our organization.”

All of Connecticut’s major hospitals have instituted vaccine mandates and the state is requiring vaccines for workers at state-run hospitals, including UConn’s John Dempsey Hospital.

Hartford HealthCare, which is requiring vaccines by the end of this week, said in a statement that 97% of its employees have received at least one dose. Trinity Health of New England said its compliance rate is at 95%.

“We have been working diligently to help our colleagues come to the decision that is right for them, and hope all of our colleagues make the choice to stay within our organization,” Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare’s chief clinical officer, said in a statement.


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