PROVIDENCE, RI — Care New England reports 85 percent of staff at its hospitals, including Kent Hospital, are vaccinated against COVID-19, but that it’s ordering vaccination mandated with an Oct. 1 deadline for the company’s outliers.
“Care New England is proud to report that approximately 85% of its healthcare workforce is currently vaccinated. We will continue to host numerous vaccination clinics and educational Q&A sessions across the system in the coming weeks, as we have been for many months, so that our healthcare workers can be vaccinated against COVID-19 and its potentially fatal variants, in time for the October 1st deadline, said Dr. James E. Fanale, President and CEO, Care New England Health System.
However, “In order to offer the highest quality care possible, as well as protect staff and patients, we must first make the environment inside our hospitals safe, and that means mandatory vaccinations for all staff by October 1st. Those who opt not to get vaccinated are choosing not to fulfill a requirement of their position and will no longer be allowed to work,” Fanale added.
The news comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus causing COVID-19 continues to dominate U.S. cases of the disease.
Unvaccinated people provide the virus that causes COVID-19 to continue to mutate into more dangerous versions, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He noted current vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, but unvaccinated people are helping to foster stronger versions.
“In order to create variants, the virus has to multiply in people. It can only spread in unvaccinated people at present time. When it does that it multiplies millions, if not billions, of times,” with a chance to mutate each of those times, he said.
“Most of these mutations are harmless. but every once in a while, you get one or a series of mutations that can create a new variant,” which is what happened with the Delta variant, he said. It mutated in one infected person and spread to threaten the U.S. and several other countries.
The Guardian reports that the World Health Organization is monitoring a new COVI-19 variant, Mu also known as B.1.621, which is resistant to immune protections gained from recovering from the virus and vaccinations against it.
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