(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey hospital network has fired a half-dozen high-ranking employees who refused to comply with a new policy requiring them to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
RWJBarnabas Health, one of the largest health care systems in the Garden State and in the nation, announced in May that it was mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all staff at the supervisory level and above, effective immediately. Those employees were required to have completed their course of vaccinations no later than June 30.
In a statement obtained by ABC News on Monday, RWJBarnabas Health revealed that “the vast majority of our management team has been vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“As of July 14, 2,979 staff members, or 99.7 percent, who are at the supervisor level and above, have been fully vaccinated or received medical and religious exemptions or a deferral,” the company said. “Regrettably, six (6) staff at the supervisor level and above have not complied with the mandate and are no longer employees of RWJBH, per our policy.”
RWJBarnabas Health, one of New Jersey’s largest private employers, did not disclose the identities of the terminated supervisors nor the locations at which they worked. The company’s network includes 11 acute-care hospitals, three acute-care children’s hospitals, a pediatric rehabilitation hospital as well as dozens of other facilities.
The company noted that it will soon require COVID-19 vaccination for all staff and physicians, the plans of which will be announced “in the coming days.”
“At RWJBarnabas Health, we have an ethical and professional responsibility to protect our patients and ensure a safe, COVID-19 free environment,” the company said.
Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey has recorded over 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 26,000 confirmed deaths from the disease per Johns Hopkins University data. Meanwhile, more than 5.1 million New Jersey residents — over 58% of the state’s population — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Health.
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