PARIS, FRANCE- Healthcare workers in France face suspensions from their jobs yesterday if they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. With as many as 300,000 workers still not vaccinated, some hospitals fear staff shortages will add to their strain
Vaccines which are compulsory for medical care, home care, and emergency workers in France, yesterday was the deadline for such to have had at least one shot. Failing that, workers face pay suspension or not being able to work. However, the court has forbidden workers to be fired outright.
The mandate was approved by France’s parliament over the summer after the government declared that “It’s aimed at one thing: protecting hospitals, protecting health care workers, protecting our fragile populations,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said. “We are not stigmatizing anyone. We are making everyone take responsibility.”
More than 90% of French health care workers are vaccinated, Attal said, and polls suggest most people support the vaccine mandate for medical staff.
However, some staff fear shortages could spell disaster. Christophe Prudhomme, emergency room doctor and General Confederation of Labour union member, at a protest outside the health ministry on Tuesday, said, “We are raising the alarm … If you insist on implementing this measure, your beds will be closed, thus reducing chances (of survival) for a number of patients.”
Health authorities said, more than 113,000 people with the coronavirus have died in France, and most of those hospitalized in the most recent surge were not vaccinated.