New York's largest private health care provider fired 1,400 employees who refused the vaccine

New York nurse resigns over vaccine mandate

New York nurses Karen Downey and her daughter, Alyssa, discuss their religious objections to the COVID vaccine.

New York’s largest private healthcare provider has fired some 1,400 employees who refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19, Fox News has learned. 

A spokesperson for Northwell Health confirmed Monday that it “had to exit” 1,400 staff members but noted that most of its members chose to get vaccinated. With the ouster, Northwell’s employees are now 100% vaccinated. 

Shyrel Ritter, a certified nursing assistant at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, receives her COVID-19 booster shot at her workplace in New York, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. 

“Northwell regrets losing any employee under such circumstances, but as health care professionals and members of the largest health care provider in the state, we understand our unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other,” the spokesperson said. “We owe it to our staff, our patients, and the communities we serve to be 100% vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The spokesperson said that having a fully vaccinated staff will allow Northwell to “provide exceptional care at all of our facilities, without interruption and remain open and fully operational.”

“Northwell believes that having a fully vaccinated workforce is an important measure in our duty to protect the health and safety of our staff, our patients and the communities we serve,” she said. 

New York began ratcheting up the heat last month for government workers and health care employees to get the vaccine. Hospitals and nursing homes in New York have begun removing workers for failing to meet a state-mandated deadline as Gov. Kathy Hochul pleaded with holdouts to get 11th-hour inoculations. 

“To those who have not yet made that decision, please do the right thing,” Hochul said at a press briefing. “A lot of your employers are anxious to just give you the jab in the arm and say you’re part of the family, we need your help to continue on.” 

Employees who refuse the shots face suspensions and termination. Workers terminated because of refusal to get the vaccine are not eligible for unemployment insurance without a doctor-approved request for medical accommodation. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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