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3,000 health workers suspended without pay in France for refusing COVID-19 vaccine

With the September 15 deadline for staff at hospitals, retirement, care homes, and those in the fire service passing to get vaccinated, 3,000 health workers across France have been suspended from heir jobs without pay.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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With the September 15 deadline for staff at hospitals, retirement, care homes, and those in the fire service passing to get vaccinated, 3,000 health workers across France have been suspended from their jobs without pay.

Workers were informed of the deadline in July by President Emmanuel Macron, and health minister Olivier Véran said that staff were notified in writing before the deadline approached to get at least one off the doses, according to The Guardian.

While "several dozen" workers had resigned instead of getting vaccinated, Véran noted that "continued healthcare is assured," with an estimated 2.7 million health workers remaining on the job in France.

"A large number of these suspensions will be temporary," Véran told RTL radio. "They involved mostly personnel in support service, like those working in laundry or food preparation." He said very few doctors and nurses remained unvaccinated. "Many of them have decided to get vaccinated now the obligation to do so has become a reality."

French health authority Santé Publique estimates that fewer than 12 percent of hospital staff and about 6 percent of doctors in private practice have yet to be vaccinated.

Around 81 percent of the French population has been vaccinated, with about 86 percent receiving their first dose.

"The organization of Paris public hospitals, AP-HP, said 340 of its staff had been suspended. The figures were higher in the south, where vaccine hesitancy is more common: 450 staff have been suspended at a Nice hospital, 100 at Perpignan, 76 at Brest, and dozens in other big towns and cities," according to The Guardian.

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