Mayo Clinic fires 1% of staff due to COVID vaccine requirement

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WKBT) — About 1 percent of Mayo Clinic Health System’s staff were fired Wednesday after failing to comply with Mayo’s requirement that they be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The health system released a statement saying that 99% of employees across all Mayo Clinic locations complied with the vaccination program.

“Mayo Clinic transitioned to a required COVID-19 vaccination program for all staff to advance the primary value of Mayo Clinic – the needs of the patient come first,” said Mayo in the statement.

“This is a time when Mayo Clinic must stand firmly behind the evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines to help protect the health and safety of our patients, workforce, visitors, and communities.”

The program required having at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and not being overdue for a second dose. Medical and religious exemptions were allowed and the majority of those were approved.

“Based on science and data, it’s clear that vaccination keeps people out of the hospital and saves lives. That’s true for everyone in our communities – and it’s especially true for the many patients with serious or complex diseases who seek care at Mayo Clinic each day,” Mayo said.

Protesters gathered outside of the La Crosse location several times last fall, saying no to the mandate. The group said members want a choice in whether they’re vaccinated or not.