Healthcare worker vaccine mandate may jumpstart local efforts
September 22, 2021
Employees at hospitals and long-term care facilities in New York are mandated to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27, a requirement that has resulted in dozens of staff members quitting their jobs.
Adam Seth Litwin, an expert on issues involving technological change, work and workers in the healthcare sector, says because frontline caregivers are in such high demand, the healthcare sector may need to rely on prevention instead of treatment.
“Policymakers are banking on the fact that mass responses like this one, while alarming, pale in comparison to the reaction employers would get from issuing their own private mandates. Under the former governor’s directive, hospital administrators can plausibly empathize with their disgruntled workers while at the same time following the law and the science.
“If there is a silver lining to this, it is that these hyper-local decisions of anti-COVID vaxxers have very clear ramifications for the daily lives of their own neighbors. No one wants to see their pregnant friend, elderly neighbor, or softball teammate inconvenienced, let alone endangered. I think if actions like the ones hospital workers are taking -which are well within their legal rights – manage to jumpstart conversations between neighbors, pastors, and family doctors, we may well get the grassroots, bottom-up encouragement for vaccinations that we know works.”