South Mississippi hospitals react to Supreme Court’s ruling on vaccination mandate

The mandate covers virtually all health care workers in the country, applying to providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding.
Thursday’s ruling has left many South Mississippi hospitals worried that it could have a...
Thursday’s ruling has left many South Mississippi hospitals worried that it could have a negative effect on frontline workers and exasperate the ongoing nurse shortage. (Photo source: WLOX)
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 4:19 PM CST
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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Although the Supreme Court halted the vaccine mandate for U.S. businesses, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

Thursday’s ruling has left many South Mississippi hospitals worried that it could have a negative effect on frontline workers and exacerbate the ongoing nurse shortage.

According to Singing River Health System’s spokesperson Jaklyn Wrigley, the hospital is disappointed by the ruling.

“Although we intend to make every effort to comply with the CMS mandate, we cannot help but be concerned that the mandate will cause us to lose more frontline healthcare workers from the State, workers who are already in extremely short supply,” said Wrigley.

Wrigley also said the mandate could cause the hospital to lose nurses. As of now, 66% of the SRHS healthcare community are fully vaccinated

“Even the loss of one nurse can have a negative impact on the number of patients for whom we are able to deliver care, and the mandate could cause Mississippi to lose many more than that,” said Wrigley.

The court’s orders Thursday came during a spike in coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant. The mandate covers virtually all health care workers in the country, applying to providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding.

It affects 10.4 million workers at 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.

“I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but at the same time, I am very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling lifting the stay of the CMS vaccination mandate,” said President and CEO Kent Nicaud. “You have been on the frontlines of this pandemic, saving lives, and deserve the freedom and ability to make your own informed health care decisions.”

Nicaud said the hospital will continue to accept medical and religious accommodations that the mandate allows.

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