OLYMPIA, Wash. - As the deadline for state employees to be fully vaccinated approaches, an early survey shows that most of the state’s health care workers are fully vaccinated.
The Washington State Hospital Association said it surveyed members about their staff vaccination rates after the Oct. 4 cut-off to meet the Oct. 18 deadline.
As of Monday, out of 94% of state hospitals reporting, 88% of staff were fully vaccinated.
Officials said there is variability among hospitals’ vaccination rates. The remaining 12% are a mix of staff partially vaccinated, have approved or are in the process of applying for an exemption and accommodation or are choosing not to get vaccinated.
"Washington hospitals continue to urge their staff to get vital COVID-19 vaccines. We are pleased that most hospitals and health systems have achieved a high rate of vaccination, which will allow patients to continue to access life-saving care across Washington State," Cassie Sauer, CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association said. "We know there will be some impacts on services, and we will continue to support hospitals and health systems in navigating the vaccine requirement."
The hospital association said it believes that 2-5% of hospital staff statewide could leave the workforce because of the mandate.
Final numbers will not likely be known until early November.
"It is clear that staffing remains constrained across the health care system and the loss of staff will have an impact on patients, including continued delays for less urgent procedures and longer waits for outpatient appointments," Sauer said.
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