Some hospital workers didn’t want to be forced to get the vaccine, but that didn’t change the requirement.
“A lot of people have put people on administrative leave or let them spend their vacations, which we have seen in other contexts and across the United States and here at the very last minute people are doing the queue for their initial shot, ”said Dr. Scrase, acting secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health.
Hospitals are reporting to NMDOH as of this week:
- 88% of hospital workers are fully vaccinated
- 7% approved medical or religious exemptions
- 4% are partially vaccinated
- 1% of hospital staff remain unvaccinated.
“A 1% impact on healthcare workers in our state would mean all other healthcare workers would have to work 1% harder. They’re already working as hard as they can, so I think that’s a big deal, ”said Scrase.
On Wednesday, the New Mexico Council of Nurse Practitioners released a public service announcement explaining that a nursing shortage has become a major threat to public health. Fewer nurses mean there is no one for the patients.
NMDOH officials said the risk of losing staff to this requirement is not as risky as losing them to COVID-19.
“Someone has calculated that you can lose as many or more health workers just by not having them vaccinated at all, since this percentage was previously 30%.”
The deadline for the vaccination requirement is August 2.