COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place for Tennessee health care workers

First dose required by January 27
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Posted at 5:15 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 12:31:38-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thursday marks the deadline for health care workers in Tennessee and several other states to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

It's a part of the Biden Administration's mandate to vaccinate those on the front lines.

President Joe Biden is certain this will work to save the lives of doctors, nurses and patients across the country. The mandate also affects technicians, aides and even volunteers that participate in the federal Medicare or Medicaid programs.

Originally, Biden's plan was to vaccinate all employees at large businesses, but the Supreme Court stopped that major push and limited it to only those in the health care field.

It comes as many on the front lines are stretched thin by the omicron surge, which is putting a record number of people in the hospital with COVID-19, while sickening health care workers.

The mandate comes with mixed feelings. It's welcomed by some, while others fear it will worsen staffing shortages if employees quit rather than comply.

Some workers already faced these requirements last year, like those at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Their deadline was September 15.

The mandate ultimately will cover 10.4 million health care workers at 76,000 facilities across the country.