DETROIT – One of Michigan’s largest health care systems says approximately 400 of its workers have quit rather than get a required COVID-19 vaccine.
Henry Ford Health System confirmed Tuesday that about 1% of its workforce left their job at the hospital over its mandate to get a coronavirus vaccine. It was Michigan’s first hospital system to mandate the shots this year.
Another 1,900 – or about 6% of the workforce – were granted religious or medical exemptions from the vaccine.
President Joe Biden ordered vaccine mandates for almost every hospital in the country or weekly coronavirus tests for employees that choose not to get the shot.
Health care is not the only industry to suffer workforce issues due to vaccine mandates – but the rules about getting the shot put them in tricky situations due to staffing shortages meeting a high demand due to the pandemic.
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Yet, not every hospital has ordered a mandate.
Beaumont Health and Trinity Health have implemented vaccine mandates while the Detroit Medical Center and McLaren Health Care have not imposed them.
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Many employers worried the vaccine mandate could exacerbate an already strenuous work environment at hospitals where nurses and doctors have spent more than a year and a half managing infectious emergency rooms with too few beds.
Currently, there are more than 1,600 hospitalizations in Michigan linked to COVID-19.