Vaccine Mandates are Being Abandoned Because of Staffing Issues

In the face of staffing constraints and mounting uncertainty over whether COVID vaccine mandates at the federal level are even lawful, major healthcare systems around the nation are quietly abandoning their vaccination mandates.

Earlier this month, two separate federal judges ruled President Biden’s attempt to mandate vaccinations for healthcare workers across the country most certainly exceeded the jurisdiction of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was tasked with implementing the mandate. Along with two others, this requirement has been halted by the Biden administration.

Overturning Mandates

Several big hospital corporations promptly reversed their regulations in anticipation of the Biden administration’s rule taking effect on time. The regulatory revisions will impact millions of healthcare employees.

The Cleveland Clinic, a massive medical system employing over 70,000 people, stated on Dec. 2 it would no longer enforce its vaccination requirement. Non-vaccinated staff will now be able to depend on additional safety prerequisites, like routine testing, instead of the injection.

Shortly after the CMMS mandate was overturned, HCA Healthcare, which runs over 180 hospitals in 20 states, froze its vaccination mandate for workers in non-mandated states. The agency, which employs over 270,000 workers, already has personnel issues.

Furthermore, a Tennessee-based health system with around 14,000 workers, led by Ballad Health’s CEO, stated the mandate’s consequences may have been “disastrous” for the organization if the federal government executed it on time.

Around 2,000 Ballad staff lacked vaccinations. Ballad’s CEO cautioned last summer the requirement might hinder the system from getting essential staffing necessities, like the ER. Following the court verdicts, AdventHealth discontinued its vaccination obligation for workers.

Hospital understaffing has caused many caregivers to take on more patients, according to officials from the Florida-based corporation which testified before the Florida Legislature in September.

Intermountain Healthcare, a hospital group with over 40,000 employees, stopped enforcing its vaccination obligation in early December, after reporting 95% of its personnel received the injection.

If not for recent court verdicts, hundreds, if not thousands, of its employees may have faced disciplinary action.

Airlines and Other Corporations

It’s not only hospitals resisting vaccination requirements for fear of exacerbating staff shortages.

Well before the courts halted the Biden administration’s government contractor vaccination demand, Southwest Airlines scrapped a plan to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave.

Like American Airlines, Biden delayed implementing his vaccination requirement, which was subsequently called into question, due to court defeats.

After scores of resignations due to the mandate, the Richmond School Board agreed to cease penalizing teachers who ignored it in November. Vaccination requirements have caused problems in certain regions, notwithstanding operational considerations.

The city’s immunization requirements caused the Seattle Police Department to put 100 officers on leave by November. The 93 officer vacancies spurred an emergency recruitment and selection policy that the agency warned might harm service levels.

Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio declared he would pay holdouts $500 to get vaccinated, which school staff union leaders said was cruel to those who initially followed the regulations.