A South Carolina hospital fired five staff members this week after they allegedly refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to The State, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) alerted employees in April that they would be given until June 30 to get vaccinated in compliance with a hospital policy.
Under the policy, all leaders and new hires were required to get the shot first and the rest of the system's employees were to get inoculated by the end of June.
MUSC Health spokeswoman Heather Woolwine confirmed to The State on Wednesday that five employees declined to get vaccinated and were let go as a result.
“As with any policy at MUSC Health, termination of employment is a last resort for noncompliance,” Woolwine told the newspaper.
Currently, MUSC is the only hospital system in the state that has mandated vaccinations for its employees, The State reported. Exceptions were made for employees who completed a religious or medical waiver.
Between 2,000 to 3,000 of the hospital's 17,000 employees reportedly opted out of getting the vaccination.
“We want to provide a place where people feel safe to come and receive care because we’ve achieved herd immunity in our system,” Woolwine told The State in June about the hospital policy.
More than 150 workers were fired or resigned from the Houston Methodist hospital system last month after failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Nearly 120 of the hospital's employees filed a lawsuit against it in May, saying that they were being forced to be "human 'guinea pigs' as a condition for continued employment."