by Guy Page
Despite imposing a vaccine mandate for all employees, vaccination at the UVM Medical Center lags – but only slightly – behind the rest of the state.
According to an August 24 internal newsletter, 83% of employees are vaccinated, a source told the Vermont Daily Chronicle. As of today, 85.7 Vermonters ages 12 and over are vaccinated, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Vermont has the highest vaccination rate in the nation.
Vermont reported 798 total new cases last week, with a 28% increase among unvaccinated and 18% among vaccinated. At present there are 35 patients hospitalized, nine in the ICU. Outbreaks in several nursing homes are contributing to the higher numbers. Since the pandemic began, 271 Vermonters are listed as Covid-19 fatalities – about one percent of all cases.
The UVMMC mandate goes into effect October 1. Unvaccinated employees will be required to test weekly. UVMMC is Vermont’s largest private employer.
In response to an inquiry about UVMMC’s plan to achieve full vaccination, hospital spokesperson Neal Goswami emailed the August 6 statement about the vaccine mandate, which includes the following: “Therefore, the UVM Health Network is actively engaged towards requiring our entire workforce of nearly 15,000 employees – including our employed physicians and also for travelers working in our facilities – to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as a condition of employment. Those who decline vaccination will be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing when this requirement goes into effect on October 1, 2021.”
In a related story, a national job-search website is targeting workers fleeing vaccine mandates. The Novaxmandate.org Job Board asserts that “no right is more sacred than the right of every individual to the control of their own person, free from all restraint or interference of others. This job board is for open positions from a variety of companies and locations who align with our values.”
At present, no Vermont jobs are available on the website.