Coronavirus: New Jersey hospital fires employees over fake vaccination cards

A New Jersey hospital fired several employees who tried to use fake vaccination cards after the facility required inoculations for all staff.

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University Hospital became the state’s first hospital to mandate vaccinations for all employees, NJ.com reported. Workers could be fired for not complying. Exemptions were allowed for religious and medical reasons.

“We took a critical look at the cards and found noticeable differences between the way the cards looked and the way the real (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) cards looked,” Dr. Shereef Elnahal, chief executive at the hospital, told NJ.com. “We were able to detect those cases, thankfully. It makes everybody less safe if people are dishonest about their vaccination status.”

Before the requirement, about half of the hospital’s 3,700 employees were vaccinated. After the mandate, nearly all were.

“Well over 90% of employees who come to campus are now vaccinated,” Elnahal told NJ.com. “The rest have medical or religious exemptions, with only a handful undergoing disciplinary action after our (Aug. 3) due date. The denominator here does NOT include physicians, residents, or students because they’re technically not UH employees (our vax % would be much higher if it did). Second, dozens of employees chose to be vaccinated after the first steps of discipline, but disciplinary action itself was NOT the primary driver of our significant increase in uptake — we went from 55% vaccinated to 93% in the 5 weeks after announcing the mandate, but before the due date.”

The hospital did not comment about the fired employees. It is unclear how the workers got the fake records. There does not appear to be a link between the fired workers and recent charges by New York prosecutors against Jasmine Clifford, the “AntiVaxMomma” who allegedly sold 250 fake vaccination cards, NJ.com reported.