As vaccine mandates become more common in hospitals, and as President Biden's national vaccine mandate looms, there have been fears about how these requirements will affect the healthcare sector's already precarious labor situation.
Passed earlier this month, Biden's mandate requires that all healthcare workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals or who work in other settings get vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate applies to over 17 million healthcare workers, according to the White House.
The rule will be enforced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is developing an interim final rule with a comment period that will be issued in October.
The mandate has been generally well received, however, some, including the American Hospital Association, have raised concerns that it could exacerbate "the severe workforce shortage problems that currently exist."
But these worries that vaccine mandates will have widespread implications on the healthcare staffing shortage is perhaps misguided, according to Alexa Hanlon, an associate at Fisher Phillips who focuses on healthcare labor and employment law.
"I think [saying] a causal factor [of the labor shortage] is the vaccine mandate is certainly an overexaggeration," Hanlon said.
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