3,000 health workers suspended in France over vaccine mandate

3,000 health workers suspended in France over vaccine mandate
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Approximately 3,000 workers from hospitals, care homes and health centers in France have been suspended for not complying with the country's requirement that they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrench ambassador to Australia blasts sub deal with US: 'Way you treat your allies does resonate' America's subplot and Europe caught in the undertow UN agency to pay salaries of Afghan health care workers MORE announced in July that, in addition to requiring health care workers get vaccinated, the country would require a health pass to go to locations including restaurants, gyms and museums, according to Reuters

On Wednesday, the mandate for health care workers went into effect. At that time, about 450 of 7,500 workers in a single French hospital were suspended, the local daily Nice Matin reported. 

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Health officers say the impact of suspensions is not seriously detrimental, as most are among people in supporting roles. 

"Most of the suspensions are only temporary ... many have decided to get vaccinated as they see that the vaccination mandate is a reality," Health Minister Olivier Veran said in an interview on French RTL radio, according to Reuters.

However, unions fear the impact of the suspensions in terms of where the burden of work once performed by the employees who are leaving will fall. 

"If we can't replace the carers who leave, the work will fall on the others, and I fear an unvirtuous circle, with tiredness, exhaustion and an increase in absenteeism," Emmanuel Chignon, a French care home manager, told Reuters.

Other countries are also implementing strict policies as they combat the pandemic. 

Italy is expected to announce vaccine or negative test requirements for all workers soon, while the Netherlands will likely implement a similar policy but only for bars and clubs, Reuters reported. 

President BidenJoe BidenPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks State school board leaves national association saying they called parents domestic terrorists Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases MORE, meanwhile, is facing vocal Republican pushback after issuing an emergency vaccine mandate for every employer with more than 100 workers.