CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Monday, the Charleston Area Medical Center announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all staff members since the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine. This means some of medical staff have been practicing medicine unvaccinated. Some vaccinated patients think this mandate should have been issued earlier.
“What are hospitals representing to society? A healthy living way, things they can protect, or things they can heal. That’s what hospitals signify in society,” said Sagar Sorte, a vaccinated patient.
“A doctor is going to have to get close to me, a nurse is going to have to get close to me. I would like to know that they were vaccinated,” said Robert Royce, a vaccinated patient.
A patient said some staff opted to quit once the vaccine was mandated at the hospital. In the United States, state and federal laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, fondly known as HIPAA, protect the medical privacy of nurses and doctors just as it does for parents. Therefore, health care professionals legally do not have to disclose their vaccination status. Although health care providers and patients have the right to inquire about vaccination status.
“Knowing the situation I’m walking into is important to me. I think it’s important to all of us. We want to know what we’re walking into. I think for that reason full disclosure on if they are or aren’t vaccinated is important,” said Royce.
“It’s an important thing that they disclose this because it’s like a patient, doctor relationship, and because COVID is a deadly virus. It’s very important for the doctors to reveal to the patients, I’m not vaccinated. It’s very important for the nurses to reveal to the patients, I’m not vaccinated, so that the patient can take extra precautions,” said Sorte.