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Photo: Jill Connelly/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A hospital in upstate New York says it will "pause" its maternity services this month after several employees chose to resign rather than get a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine.

Driving the news: At least six unvaccinated maternity staffers at Lewis County General Hospital have quit. In all, 165 staffers, or about 27% of the hospital's workforce, is unvaccinated, CEO Gerald Cayer said at a news briefing.

The Sept. 25 pause will take place two days before the state's deadline for health care workers to get the shot.

What they're saying: "We are unable to safely staff the service after Sept. 24," Cayer told reporters Friday.

  • “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital."
  • "It is my hope that the [New York] Department of Health will work with us in pausing the service rather than closing the maternity department."

Go deeper

Dec 21, 2021 - Health

WHO and EU clear Novavax, adding another option to vaccine arsenal

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The WHO and EU have now cleared Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, adding another shot to the global arsenal.

Why it matters: The biggest impact will likely be in the developing world as the American company has promised over 1 billion doses to the WHO-backed COVAX initiative. The vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures and proved highly effective in clinical trials.

Trump reveals he got COVID vaccine booster shot

Former President Trump revealed on Monday that he has received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Why it matters: Trump was vaccinated at the White House in January. But he has often downplayed the pandemic and delivered mixed signals on the shot, despite the fact that Trump-supporting communities tend to have markedly lower vaccination rates.

Dec 20, 2021 - Health

D.C. reinstates indoor mask mandate as COVID cases surge

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency on Monday and announced a number of new policies aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, including the reinstatement of the city's indoor mask mandate and a booster requirement for D.C. government employees.

Driving the news: The recent case surge comes amid the rise of the Omicron variant and as COVID tests are harder to find—all while many D.C.-area residents prepare to gather with family and friends for the holiday season.