Hospitals deal with staffing shortages after vaccine mandate

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The coronavirus vaccine mandate deadline for health care workers went into effect on Tuesday. Local hospitals are looking at the impact on staffing and what it could mean in the future.

  • 92.3% of all hospital staff workers and 93.3% of direct care staff have received at least one dose.
  • 92.6% of all nursing home staff and 92.3% of direct care staff have received at least one dose.
  • 89.3% of all adult care facilities staff and 88.7% of direct care staff have received at least one dose.

Staffing storages were an issue before the vaccine mandate, but now healthcare workers are facing a new challenge.

“We will not likely feel the full impact of what is happening with the vaccine mandate until next week,” said Dr. Dennis McKenna. 

Albany Medical Center President Dr. Dennis McKenna announced on Tuesday 204 of their 11,000 employees were not vaccinated by the deadline. They will be put on unpaid leave for a week.

If they don’t comply in that time, Dr. McKenna says some difficult decisions will have to be made.

“So we must preserve the resources we have to care for those things only we can do. We need to think about trauma, pediatrics, and some of the higher-end surgical procedures that are only done on this campus,” said he.

Ellis Hospital reported 91% of their staff members are fully vaccinated, while 105 employees have not gotten the shot.

St. Peter’s Health Partners announced Tuesday morning 322 employees out of more than 11,000 have been suspended. They have until October 8 to become compliant. At this time, they say the employee suspension has not led to the suspension of any services.

Many healthcare workers, who have chosen to not be vaccinated, did not want to go on camera in fear of repercussions. Many are hoping their religious or medical exemptions will be accepted.

Staffing concerns also remain at nursing homes. Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin says he wants to ensure the staffing levels at the Van Rensselaer Manor stay consistent.

He wants to ensure services aren’t reduced as 18 employees out of 434 are not vaccinated.

Another vaccine mandate deadline is coming up on October 7. It includes staff in-home care, hospice, and adult care facilities. The regulation also applies to all out-of-state and contract medical staff who practice in New York State.

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