Hospitals avoid feared staff exodus after COVID vaccine mandate implementation

The February 14th deadline for healthcare workers to receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine does not appear to have significantly worsened the hospital staffing crisis, even in rural hospitals. But the mandate hasn’t necessarily meant that all healthcare workers are now vaccinated, as some hospitals reported approving a flurry of medical and religious exemptions to avoid staff departures. 

The Gist: Just as when states and early-adopter health systems enforced healthcare worker vaccine mandates last year, COVID vaccine uptake jumped just ahead of the federal deadline. 

After months of challenges, we may finally be moving beyond debates over healthcare worker vaccine requirements. And as hospitalizations from the Omicron wave continue to decline, most states and health systems are not planning to implement booster requirements. 

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