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The Editorial Board: Vaccine refusal within medical facilities creates a risk that needs to be monitored

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At the entrance to an ECMC vaccination clinic in January, a wall was filled with reasons staff wrote as to why they got vaccinated against Covid-19. On Monday, a state vaccination requirement will go into effect for health care workers, some of whom may quit.

As vaccination mandates usefully spread around Western New York, residents are faced with the confounding problem of health care workers who refuse to be immunized against a virus that is still killing people – largely because too many people are refusing to be vaccinated. Their resistance will have radiating consequences.

Some share of that population – it’s uncertain how large – are nonmedical staff: cooks, cleaners and so on. That’s bad enough. Despite the volume of information available on the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness, those critical workers refuse to meet their obligation to their families, their colleagues and their community.

But it gets worse, because the rest of those refuseniks are health care professionals – experts who are trained in science and medicine and are still determined to put the world around them at risk.

Fortunately, most health professionals in the region are making the right call. They’ve been vaccinated, and some still might. But with the state appropriately mandating vaccinations for health care professionals, some hospitals are having to make undesirable contingency plans to account for the social malpractice within their staffs.

Among them is Erie County Medical Center, which expects to lose about 400 workers next week when the state requirement for........

© The Buffalo News

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