Mayo Clinic to lose 1% of staff over required vaccination program

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic will fire about 1 percent of its 73,000-person workforce because of noncompliance with the health system's required COVID-19 vaccination program, according to a statement shared with Becker's.

Under its current policy, Mayo required employees to be vaccinated or receive a medical or religious exemption. Those who were not granted an exemption had to receive by Jan. 3 at least one vaccine dose and not be overdue for a second shot, for Moderna and Pfizer. 

As of Jan. 4, nearly 99 percent of staff across all Mayo Clinic locations has complied with the required vaccination program, the health system said. This means about 1 percent of staff will be fired because of noncompliance with the required vaccination program.  

"While Mayo Clinic is saddened to lose valuable employees, we need to take all steps necessary to keep our patients, workforce, visitors and communities safe," the health system said. "If individuals released from employment choose to get vaccinated at a later date, the opportunity exists for them to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future job openings."

Mayo Clinic faced pressure in December from a group of 38 Republican Minnesota House representatives, who urged the health system to drop its "top down, heavy-handed, all-or-none employee policy" as litigation continues around CMS requirements for healthcare workers. However, Mayo Clinic has stood by its approach.

"Based on science and data, it's clear that vaccination keeps people out of the hospital and saves lives," the health system said. "That's true for everyone in our communities — and it's especially true for the many patients with serious or complex diseases who seek care at Mayo Clinic each day."

Mayo Clinic also expressed gratitude for the work employees are doing amid challenging circumstances as the omicron variant continues to spread. 

On Jan. 3, the U.S. recorded 1,082,549 new COVID-19 cases, a global record, according to data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University.  

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