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Health

Northern Light Health Expects Most Staff To Comply When COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect

Northern Light Health says it expects the vast majority of its staff to comply with a newly announced requirement for COVID-19 vaccination, which is set to take effect when the federal Food and Drug Administration gives formal approval to the vaccines.

Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Bolin told reporters that 80% of Northern Light's staff is already vaccinated. And Bolin says there's reason to believe most of the rest will get the shots.

"Some of those who've been hesitant to receive the vaccine have cited the emergency use authorization, as one of the reasons that they have not been vaccinated. So, we're very hopeful, that once the FDA has full approval of the vaccine, that some who were hesitant will have their concerns resolved and then become vaccinated," he said.

Bolin says medical and religious exemptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. Navneet Marwaha, Northern Light's vice president and chief quality officer, was asked whether that requirement should extend to all health care workers, first responders and even teachers. Marwaha said she considers it a matter of personal responsibility:

"I have a responsibility to the profession I chose and the people I come in contact with. And they may be patients; they may be my colleagues when I'm in a non-clinical setting. But, it's a complicated question which will require a lot of healthy debate," Marwaha said.