3,000 health workers suspended in France over vaccine mandate

Approximately 3,000 workers from hospitals, care homes and health centers in France have been suspended for not complying with the country’s requirement that they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrench forces kill Islamic State in Sahara leader, Macron says Afghanistan withdrawal foments European distrust of America French ‘New Wave’ star Jean-Paul Belmondo dies MORE announced in July that, in addition to requiring that health care workers get vaccinated, the country would require a health pass to go to locations including restaurants, gyms and museums, according to Reuters

On Wednesday, the mandate for health care workers went into effect. At that time, about 450 of 7,500 workers in a single French hospital were suspended, the local daily Nice Matin reported. 

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Health officers say the impact of suspensions is not seriously detrimental as most are among people in supporting roles. 

“Most of the suspensions are only temporary … many have decided to get vaccinated as they see that the vaccination mandate is a reality,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said in an interview on French RTL radio, according to Reuters.

However, unions fear the impact of the suspensions in terms of where the burden of work once performed by the employees who are leaving will fall. 

“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,” Emmanuel Chignon, a French care home manager told Reuters.

Other countries are also implementing strict policies as they combat the pandemic. 

Italy is expected to announce vaccine or negative test requirements for all workers soon, while the Netherlands will likely implement a similar policy but only for bars and clubs, Reuters reported. 

President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE, meanwhile, is facing vocal Republican pushback after issuing an emergency vaccine mandate for every employer with more than 100 workers.

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