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Some hospitals delay worker COVID-19 vaccine requirement

Mass General Brigham offices in Somerville. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Mass General Brigham offices in Somerville. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Hundreds of health care workers in Massachusetts have received COVID-19 vaccines in recent days to meet requirements, but thousands of employees remain unvaccinated, and some hospitals have delayed their deadlines.

Mass General Brigham, the state's largest hospital system, plans to place unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave at the end of their shift on Wednesday, The Boston Globe reported. The company said about 1,900 employees, or about 3% of the 80,000-person workforce, remained unvaccinated Friday or had failed to submit documentation showing they had received at least one shot.

“We are mandating the vaccine because we want to do everything possible to protect you, your families, and our patients,” the company said in a memo Thursday to employees. “You make our system great, and we do not want to lose you as a result of this condition of employment.”

Another hospital system, Springfield-based Baystate Health, said it terminated 90 workers who remained unvaccinated Friday.

With concerns over staff shortages, several hospitals have delayed vaccination deadlines through October and in some cases to Dec. 1.

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