COVID-19: France suspends 3,000 health workers For Not Accepting vaccination

The mandate for workers in hospitals and care homes went into force on Wednesday, and its immediate impact - the prohibition of unvaccinated people from working - began to be felt.
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France suspends 3,000 health workers For Not Accepting vaccination

The government said on Thursday that about 3000 staff in hospitals, care homes, and health centres across France had been suspended for failing to comply with required COVID immunization, as countries around Europe consider how far to go in combating the pandemic.

President Emmanuel Macron's decision in mid-July to need a health pass to enter any establishment, including restaurants, gyms, and museums, as well as to make vaccinations necessary for health staff, has resulted in an enormous spike in vaccination rates.

The mandate for workers in hospitals and care homes went into force on Wednesday, and its immediate impact - the prohibition of unvaccinated people from working - began to be felt.

According to the local newspaper Nice Matin, roughly 450 health employees in one hospital in Nice, southern France, have been suspended out of a total of 7500.

The government, on the other hand, dismissed the consequences.

“It hasn't been chaos, far from it,” Health Minister Olivier Veran told French radio station RTL, adding that the sector employs 27 million people.

He said there have been a few instances when it has impacted care, such as when the usage of an MRI became temporarily complex, but most suspended employees work in support jobs, limiting the impact.

“Most of the suspensions are only temporary ... many have decided to get vaccinated as they see that the vaccination mandate is a reality,” Veran said.

However, unions warn that service will be disrupted and that only a few absentees in a team can cause a catastrophe, as Emmanuel Chignon, a care home manager in Bordeaux, told Reuters this week, citing how difficult it is to hire employees in the sector.

“If we can’t replace the carers who leave, the work will fall on the others, and I fear an unvirtuous circle, with tiredness, exhaustion and an increase in absenteeism,” he said.