Local health officials support California’s new vaccine mandate for health care workers

Kamari Esquerra

California is leading the way in cracking down on COVID-19.

The state is implementing a new vaccine mandate requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the virus as cases of the Delta variant continue to increase across the country. 

The issue comes a week after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered health care workers to either get the vaccine or get weekly COVID testing. Now, the message is clear- get the vaccine.

Responses from local health officials in the area have been overwhelmingly positive. 

“It was a relief that we’re getting some clear direction for those who are working on the frontlines safety for themselves, safety for their patients and we know this is how we end this pandemic,” said Dr. Edith Jones Poland, Primary Care Physician at Circe Healthcare.

The CDC encourages everyone to get the vaccine, but health care workers especially play a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID. 

“The state’s public health officials have been able to track COVID-19 outbreaks to unvaccinated healthcare workers so we know it makes a difference for the healthcare workers, for people, their environment and, of course, for the patient,” said Dr. Poland.

Dr. Poland expressed support and pride for the state being the first to implement stricter measures, and said she hopes other state leaders will follow suit.

 “It says that California as usual is leading the way,” Dr. Poland said. “(Our leaders) are willing to step up and do what the government is supposed to do, which is to protect the citizens of California.”

The vaccine mandate goes into effect on Sept. 30 and will include employees of hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, clinics, and other medical facilities.

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