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A healthcare worker prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at Northwell Health South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York. Photo: Johnny Milano/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system, announced Monday that it fired 1,400 workers for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Driving the news: The state's vaccine mandate for health workers went into effect last week.

  • State of play: Northwell Health said it took a "rapid, aggressive approach" to reach 100% vaccination among its staff, the company said in a statement Monday.
  • Doing so would enable them to “provide exceptional care at all of our hospitals, without interruption and enable all our facilities to remain open and fully operational."
  • The company employees more than than 76,000 workers, the New York Times reports.
  • As of Monday, 87% of the state's 450,000 hospital workers have been vaccinated, according to the latest state data.
  • Other hospital systems around the country have faced similar dilemmas. Last week a North Carolina hospital system fired 175 unvaccinated workers for failing to comply with the state vaccine mandate.

What they're saying: "[H]aving a fully vaccinated workforce is an important measure in our duty to protect the health and safety of our staff, our patients and the communities we serve," Northwell Health's vice president of public relations Barbara Osborn said the statement.

  • "[A]s health care professionals and members of the largest health care provider in the state, we understand our unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other."

The big picture: 63.9% of New York's total population has been fully vaccinated, according to the state's COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

Go deeper

GE to mandate COVID vaccinations for U.S. workers

Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

General Electric will require all of its workers in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing President Biden's executive order for federal contractors, the company confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: General Electric is the latest in a slew of major companies to mandate the vaccine for workers, following in the footsteps of American Airlines, Tyson Foods and Microsoft, among others.

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
16 hours ago - Health

Puerto Rico leads U.S. COVID vaccination rates

A mass vaccination event at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 31. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in the United States as of Oct. 19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The island has managed to accomplish such feats amid frequent power outages, earthquakes and high dependence on imports of health technologies from outside the region.