The Mayo Clinic on Wednesday said it fired 700 employees who failed to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Photo courtesy Sabine.ritzinger/Wikimedia Commons
Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The Mayo Clinic said Wednesday that it has fired hundreds of employees who failed to comply with the non-profit medical center's mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
Workers had been required to get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday with 700 employees -- roughly 1% of its 73,000 total workers -- failing to meet the requirement and would be "released from employment."
"This is a time when Mayo Clinic must stand firmly behind the evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines to help protect the health and safety of our patients, workforce, visitors and communities ... Based on science and data, it's clear that vaccination keeps people out of the hospital and saves lives," the clinic said.
The clinic said that the majority of medical or religious exemption requests made by employees in response to the mandate were granted.
Additionally, it added that fired employees could return to the medical center at a later time if they choose to comply with the mandate.
"If individuals released from employment choose to get vaccinated at a later date, the opportunity exists for them to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future job openings," Mayo Clinic said.
Last month a group of 38 lawmakers, led by Peggy Bennet, a Republican member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, asked the Mayo Clinic to abandon the mandate in a letter.
"This top down, heavy-handed, all-or-none employee policy does not fit the reputation or image we know the Mayo Clinic to have," the letter stated.
In its statement Wednesday, the Mayo Clinic said that "based on science and data, it's clear that vaccination keeps people out of the hospital and saves lives."
"That's true for everyone in our communities -- and it's especially true for the many patients with serious or complex diseases who seek care at Mayo Clinic each day," it said.