Mandatory Vaccine for Healthcare Workers: One Size Does not Fit All

By Adina Reid-Andrews

There are people who legitimately have a reason for not taking the vaccine who have underlying conditions which put them at risk for being immune compromised. Our employers are throwing the mandate across the board. In the case of health care workers, I think they should be protected against all these viral illnesses, primarily, to protect themselves, and to protect the patients to whom they give care.                                                                              

Making the vaccine mandatory in my opinion, is not necessary. The workers should have alternatives, and not ultimatums, like  being unpaid. There are people ready to retire, who cannot afford to lose their jobs, and cannot be vaccinated. The debate should be who should take the vaccine against who don’t want to take the vaccine. A young health care worker with no underlying conditions should be willing to take the vaccine as opposed to the aged worker who is about to retire and cannot be vaccinated. 

There are alternatives like wearing a mask or be tested every week. This mandatory move was ordered first by former Governor Andrew Cuomo. On August 18, 2021, the department of health issued a summary order on vaccination, affecting certain types of health care facilities.  By the deadline date, September 27, 92% of our facilities, tried to comply with this task.

On September 30, 2021, in courtrooms from Manhattan to Utica, judges were weighing whether exemptions that would cover thousands of health care workers will be allowed. The question of who should not get the vaccine was raised because some  people are allergic to the ingredients in the vaccine. Polyethylene glycol, (PEG) and polysorbate are  ingredients in the Pfizer and Moderna MRNA vaccines. If you are allergic to PEG, you should not get a MRNA COVID-19 vaccine. On October 13, 2021, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against New York’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, saying that the workers needed more time to make that decision to accept this vaccine, because research has shown that the cell lines from aborted fetuses were used in the production processing of that COVID-19 vaccine.    To date, some hospital administrators, along with the rulings of the Mayor of New York City, are putting pressure on workers from both sectors to get vaccinated or they will be relieved of their duties. So, it’s mandatory for city workers to be vaccinated, or go on no-pay leave, or be fired, and as we speak. Thousands of city workers are not on the job, they are forming protesting rallies all over the United States.  This includes fire fighters, sanitation workers, teachers, city employees and some health care workers. The United States is a democratic country not a place where dictatorship is practice, therefore, people have the right to make some choices concerning their lives, so I say vaccination, YES mandatory, NO.  This is not promoting productivity.            

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