ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — More than 8,000 Mayo Clinic staff members could face termination if they remain unvaccinated for COVID-19, according to an internal employee email memo.
The memo, sent Wednesday to unvaccinated employees, says that all Mayo Clinic staff members who are not vaccinated are required to get vaccinated for the virus, or get approved for medical or religious exemptions by Dec. 3 at noon. Staff members who received the memo, are part of the more than 8,000 employees who remain unvaccinated.
The email then laid out a timeline for unvaccinated employees. All medical and religious exemption forms are due on Nov. 8. On Dec. 3, staff who remain unvaccinated for the virus and have not been approved for medical or religious exemption will be placed on unpaid leave. Staff who remain not in compliance with the vaccination requirement will be terminated Jan 3, 2022.
One employee on the email list, who asks to remain anonymous, sent a statement to FOX 47.
“As a remote employee, who never has contact with patients or even coworkers, I feel this is unfair. Over 8,000 employees completed the declination process in good faith and now Mayo is threatening to terminate us if we do not get vaccinated,” it read. “It doesn’t matter if you have natural immunity or if you are making other prophylactic choices to stay healthy. Mayo has also made it clear that medical and religious exemptions will be few–and any applications for exemptions will be “stringently reviewed.”
When FOX 47 inquired Mayo about the memo, the hospital sent the following statement:
“It’s encouraging that overall staff vaccination rates for COVID-19 increased from 77.4% to 87.7% with Mayo’s participation program for COVID-19 vaccination that was announced in July,” read the statement. “However, based on the percentage of staff who remain unvaccinated and in consideration of the safety of our patients, staff, visitors and communities, Mayo Clinic is transitioning to the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program, with vaccination required to continue to work at Mayo Clinic. A review process will be available for staff to seek medical or religious exemptions to vaccination.”