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October 1, 2021

YNHH: Unvaccinated staffers facing written warnings, then termination in October


Yale New Haven Health system employees who have failed to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will get formal written warnings in their official files on Monday, and will be terminated on Oct. 18, a system official said Friday.

Back in July, the system indicated its approximately 29,000 employees had until Aug. 31 to get their first shot, and Sept. 30 to get fully vaccinated. 

Dr. Ohm M. Deshpande, the system’s vice president population health and associate chief clinical officer, said Friday morning that employees who hadn’t started the process have gotten verbal warnings. 

On this coming Monday, Oct. 4, they will get a written warning in their files, Deshpande said, followed by terminations on Oct. 18.

As of Friday, the number of unvaccinated staffers was “below 400,” according to Deshpande, though he didn’t have the exact number. 

Staffers can still avoid losing their jobs if they get vaccinated.

“We want to avoid any terminations,” Deshpande said. “These are valued employees. People have to comply with the mandate, and there are real consequences here.”

Hundreds of health system staffers have gotten vaccinated in recent days. As of Sept. 21, the system was reporting its unvaccinated staff was around 700. By Sept. 27, the figure had dropped to around 420, and it was under 400 by Friday morning.

“I know people are taking it more seriously, and they have to have an honest conversation with themselves —is it worth losing their jobs?” Deshpande said.

While the exact number remains to be seen, system officials have predicted that the final tally of those facing termination will be in the vicinity of 100. Employees were able to seek exemptions, such as for religious or health reasons, while some others have decided to retire or resign.

Marna P. Borgstrom, CEO of Yale New Haven Health, has said the system made the decision to issue the mandate after concluding it was “the only way to be safe as healthcare providers.”

The health system includes Yale New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Lawrence+Memorial Hospital in New London and Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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