The Mayo clinic is one of several clinics and hospitals around the United States who have joined a nationwide call for vaccination in order to help prevent a forecasted surge in infections during the fall season this year. This is expected to be the time of the peak of the Delta variant of the Sars-COV-2 virus and the government is doing its best to not only increase the rate of vaccinations but also reintroduce preventive measures such as wearing of masks and social distancing.
The Mayo Clinic is based in Rochester in the state of Minnesota where the rate of infections is still not very high as compared to states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Dr Gianrico Farrugia has asked all the employees to get vaccinated by September 15 in line with the clinic’s policy of keeping patients safe. President Farrugia has arranged education and awareness sessions for employees who do not want to be vaccinated and that such employees would have to wear masks and socially distance themselves while at work.
Mayo Clinic Asks Staff For Mandatory Vaccination
The Health Commissioner of Minnesota, however, said that the state is not considering compulsory vaccination for employees at this stage but expressed satisfaction that employers were themselves taking this initiative.
A spokesperson for Mayo Clinic, however, added that 95% of the doctors in the clinic and 75% to 85% of its staff are already vaccinated. For an employee strength of 34000, this will mean about 8000 local employees will need to be educated, counselled and then made to follow declination protocol.
Mayo Clinic is not the first to take this bold step in the State of Minnesota. Sanford Health from Sioux Falls became the first health centre in Minnesota to make the wearing of masks compulsory.
At the national level, Houston Methodist was the first medical centre to ask for compulsory vaccination of its staff more than 4 months ago. There was resistance as cases had not begun to surge in that United States at that time and many employees refused to get themselves vaccinated. This led to litigation in the court and Houston Methodist terminated and allowed some employees to resign of their own accord. In all, 153 employees left, either on their own or were terminated.
The Houston Methodist step led many medical centres across the United States to pass similar advisories. Shortly afterwards, 56 medical institutions got together in a step they called the ‘logical fulfilment of the commitment of health workers to put patients first and made a resolution for compulsory vaccination within health care. The 56 institutions included the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Physicians and the American Medical Association.
This grand list of 56 prestigious institutions gave considerable strength to the movement by medical health care centres to take this step has brought strength to this movement. Such bold steps are necessary during this stage of the pandemic where there is an apprehension of cases of persons infected with the Delta variant to increase within a few months.
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The matter of most concern is that this period of the pandemic is being widely termed as the pandemic of the unvaccinated as almost all the persons found infected with the delta variant are people who have not been vaccinated.
The Mayo Clinic has done well to take this strong step. It is sure to find support within the medical fraternity and patients will feel safer in the hands of such health care centres who actually put patients first.
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