Natural immunity, testing not an out: UVMMC requires 100% employee vax compliance

By Guy Page

The University of Vermont Medical Center network – the state’s largest employer – announced yesterday it will comply with a new Biden administration rule requiring health care facilities show documented vaccination for every employee and volunteer by January 4.

UVMMC said yesterday it intends to fully comply with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rule titled Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination, published Nov. 5 in the Federal Register.

“As an academic health system, we rely on data, research and science to keep our patients healthy and save lives. We have been clear about the fact that vaccination is how we protect each other and our patients from COVID-19 and end this pandemic and we intend to comply with this policy. We are grateful to the overwhelming majority of our employees who have already been vaccinated,” UVMMC spokesperson Neal Goswami said.

Goswami emailed Vermont Daily Chronicle a link to the ruling and explained further: “As you know, there are federal regulations from OSHA and also from CMS that were released last week. I would refer you to the federal government for further questions. As the statement notes, we intend to comply with federal requirements.”

The federal rule specifically prohibits exceptions for: 

  1. Unvaccinated employees testing weekly. “We have reviewed scientific evidence on testing and found that vaccination is a more effective infection control measure. As such, we chose not to require such testing for now but welcome comment,” the rule says.
  1. Natural immunity. This exception was rejected because it would have “complicated administration and likely require standards that do not now exist for reliably measuring the declining levels of antibodies over time in relation to risk of reinfection.”

Civil rights litigator Aaron Siri wrote yesterday on Substack that a Freedom of Information Act request shows that the federal government cannot reference even one case of a naturally-immune person transmitting Covid-19. “The facts about natural immunity are simple.  Every single peer reviewed study has found that the naturally immune have far greater than 99% protection from having COVID-19, and this immunity does not wane.  In contrast, the COVID-19 vaccine provides, at best, 95% protection and this immunity wanes rapidly,” Siri wrote. 

  1. Visiting workers and volunteers who don’t work at a facility full-time. “We concluded that covering these persons would be readily manageable without creating major issues for compliance, enforcement, and record-keeping.” Visiting family members however are exempt. 
  1. Allowing less than 100% vaccination compliance on Jan. 4 “would not only delay the achievement of both staff and patient safety, but encourage procrastination.”

These options are addressed in “Section F: Alternatives Considered.” In Section I:5, the rule references the 1964 Civil Rights Act and states: “Certain allergies, recognized medical conditions, or religious beliefs, observances, or practices, may provide grounds for exemption.” 

UVMMC network has a Full-Time-Equivalent workforce of 12,000, including several health care facilities in upstate New York and, in Vermont, the UVMMC hospital in Burlington, Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Porter Medical Center in Middlebury, the Visiting Nurses’ Association, and many smaller facilities.

One Chronicle reader, a known UVMMC employee who requested anonymity, wrote yesterday: “Getting ugly at uvmmc. They are saying must have first vac by 12/4. Must file exemptions. We think they will ‘grant’ with caveat that you must be remote. Not good. Also hearing  that many travelers [nurses etc. who travel from hospital to hospital as needed] only came here because we still offered testing and option for non vac. They will be leaving in December. Hospital is at crisis level staffing. This will crush. Where are all the people with the signs and free food calling them heroes ???? Unreal. Can’t believe it.”

The State of Vermont is not among the states challenging the CMS order: Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and our neighbor to the east, New Hampshire.

UVMMC will not challenge the CMS ruling, although it has some history of pushing back against federal regulators. In December 2020, UVMMC President Stephen Leffler criticized the Trump administration for its intent to enforce a civil rights violation against a nurse who was required to participate in an abortion against her will. 

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12 replies »

  1. Excellent. let it all come tumbling down. When the vaxed are filling up the hospitals with their vax caused ailments as well as Covid, they can be reassured that the remaining health care workers they see are all vaxed so they’re perfectly safe……

    • This is crazy!!! The ones in the hospital are breakthrough cases of vaxed people!!! Nurses working there successfully with antibodies are the least to spread it!! I just got out of the hospital and you will see nurses walking!!! What a non- scientific decision by admins so far removed from the floors of the hospital!!

  2. surprized that UVMMC employs more people than Global Foundries. No wonder the chip supply is low and the demand for masking and vaccinations are so high.

  3. Stay tuned for the outcome of a multitude of lawsuits. See

    What gibberish — “As an academic health system, we rely on data, research and science to keep our patients healthy and save lives. We have been clear about the fact that vaccination is how we protect each other and our patients from COVID-19 and end this pandemic and we intend to comply with this policy. We are grateful to the overwhelming majority of our employees who have already been vaccinated,” UVMMC spokesperson Neal Goswami said.

    If that were true, UVMMC would be taking a different track altogether. The truth is UVMMC is too WOKE to do any different than what the authoritarian dictators spout. The Covid jab is NOT a VACCINE. It is a FAILED GENE THERAPY that does more damage than good. There. I said it.

  4. hope UVmmc goes broke, staff and nurses quit leaving them no option but to capitulate with the reality the covid vac is not reliable to prevent outbreaks!

    • There’ll be no bankruptcy for UVMMC. Remember “Too big to fail”? One of Peter Shumlin’s lasting gifts to Vermont is that we, taxpayers and premium payers are forced to pay, no matter what.
      UVMMC will bring in more ‘travelers’- per diem employees to maintain their minimum requirements-
      at increased cost to all that subsidize the medical industry in Vermont.
      Unfortunately, the cost of losing talented trained staff is far greater that the risk posed by unvaccinated staff, in dollars and lives. The policies insisted upon by federal and state governments have proven to be failed and everyone knows it except those that “make” the policies.
      Vermont is a leading indicator of those failed policies, keep an eye on the positive test rate.

  5. Creating another crisis. The governor has been concerned the rising Covid numbers will strain the medical system and wants to protect the hospital capacity to care for patients. Firing employees at UVM and all other medical providers for not getting the jabs will cause a large loss of employees in healthcare which is already struggling to fill positions. What happens when they are no longer able to treat people because they do not have enough employees? Quality of care is already being compromised with shortage of employees. Traveling nurses will also be effected by this, especially with no testing being allowed in place of the jabs. Will our medical system collapse because of Biden’s mandates?

  6. Don’t quit! Make them fire you, then sue them. Also, consider becoming a whistleblower.
    ICAN has a national team of attorneys and you can start here:

    I am told (by my Rep) that 21 V.S.A. ch. 5, subch.10 establishes whistleblower protections for healthcare employees. 21 V.S.A. 507 specifically prohibits retaliation against an employee who:
    (1) Discloses or threatens to disclose to any person or entity any activity, policy, practice, procedure, action, or failure to act of the employer or agent of the employer that the employee reasonably believes is a violation of any law or that the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care.
    (2) Provides information to, or testifies before, any public body conducting an investigation, a hearing, or an inquiry that involves allegations that the employer has violated any law or has engaged in behavior constituting improper quality of patient care.
    (3) Objects to or refuses to participate in any activity, policy, or practice of the employer or agent that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law or constitutes improper quality of patient care.

    You can also reach out via email asking for help and a meeting and for support in passing legislation that will stop discrimination on the basis of your vaccination status.
    Use this link:

    Right now, vaccination or immune status is not a “protected class” so
    21 V.S.A. ch. 5, subch. 6), which prohibits discrimination “against any individual because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, crime victim status, or age or against a qualified individual with a disability.” would need to be modified with language to protect employees.

    21 V.S.A. 495. Subdivision (a)(8) of that section specifically prohibits retaliation against an employee for opposing a discriminatory act or practice, or for lodging a complaint with the Attorney General, a State’s Attorney, the Department of Labor, or the Human Rights Commission or testifying, assisting, or participating in an investigation by one of those entities. 21 V.S.A. 495b sets out remedies for a violation of the subchapter including enforcement by the AG or a State’s Attorney, or a civil suit brought by an individual who is harmed by a violation of the law.
    This all came from my Rep. I am not a lawyer – but you DO have rights and you are not alone!!

  7. The court has ruled the mandates are unconstitional – defund UVM – not a medical school – it’s a depopulation think tank