North Carolina hospital system fires 175 unvaccinated employees as mandate takes effect

A North Carolina hospital system has fired a whopping 175 employees in one go when they refused to take the jab on the day the group’s vaccination mandate took effect. Some 200 hurriedly got the shot last week to keep their jobs.

Novant Health has fired about 175 unvaccinated healthcare workers across 15 hospitals and 800 clinics after suspending some 375 last week. Suspended hospital staff were given five days to comply with the mandate, and according to the company’s spokeswoman Megan Rivers, “almost 200” of the affected employees succumbed to the pressure, taking the jab by Friday.

The exact number of individuals dismissed was not made public, and Novant defended its decision to let them go in the midst of what has been repeatedly framed in the media as a shortage in healthcare - specifically, intensive care beds and the nurses needed to staff them - during the pandemic.

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We stand by our decision to make the vaccine mandatory as we have a responsibility to protect our patients, visitors and team members, regardless of where they are in our health system,” the company said in a statement, announcing it “couldn’t be prouder” of those who had caved to the pressure and received the Covid-19 shot. Despite high rates of advertised effectiveness, health authorities have since acknowledged that the jabs do not actually stop transmission of the virus.

Only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine brand-named Comirnaty has been granted full approval by the Food and Drug Administration. However, to comply with the vaccine mandate, employees need only receive one dose of any of the vaccines granted emergency use authorization in the US - either Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.

The US health authority has thus far declined to evaluate vaccines being rolled out in other countries, including the UK’s AstraZeneca jab, Russia’s Sputnik V, or China’s Sinovac and CoronaVac.

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US President Joe Biden has called for all companies with over 100 employees to roll out their own vaccine mandates, though the federal requirement he has promised to deliver via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not yet arrived and it’s not clear when it is expected to be issued.

However, many large businesses have issued their own mandates even without the federal order. In some cases, those who decline to be vaccinated may be tested weekly, but employees are warned such testing will be done at their own expense and in some cases will involve a rise in their health insurance costs.

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