COVID-19 vaccination center won't be affected if nurses strike, Massachusetts hospital CEO says

The COVID-19 vaccination center at Worcester (Mass.) State University will remain operational despite a possible nurses strike at St. Vincent Hospital, the hospital CEO said

The center is a partnership with the university and Commonwealth Medicine, and St. Vincent nurses staff about 50 center shifts per week. 

"We want to reassure the public that the important work at the vaccination center will continue," St. Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson said in a Feb. 26 news release. "Given that we may not have St. Vincent nurses to staff the center starting March 8, we have been in active discussions with other partners for alternative staffing. We will ensure our community's access to vaccinations is not compromised. Second dose appointments for the week of March 8 will proceed as scheduled, and first dose appointments will be available that week as well."

The 800 registered nurses at St. Vincent, who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said they plan to strike March 8 over staffing and patient care. Nurses issued an official 10-day notice Feb. 23, after authorizing the strike Feb. 10. 

Both sides have agreed to return to the bargaining table with a federal mediator March 1, which would be the first negotiating session since the nurses issued the strike notice, according to a union statement.

St. Vincent is part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare.


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