The head of the Hadassah-University Medical Center, Prof. Zev Rotstein, was quite outraged by the fact that vaccines have not been supplied to the staff of the hospital. He penned down his anger in a letter that he wrote to the Director-General of the Health Ministry, Chezy Levy, on Wednesday.
This letter was sent soon after the Hadassah announced that hospital workers will only be considered essential if they have received the vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The medical center believes that this decision is imperative if they want to ensure that the spread of the deadly disease is contained and the people of the country are safe.
Prof. Rotstein was asked about the rationale behind this decision as well. He stated that the ‘new lockdown’ imposed by the government of the State of Israel, due to the alarming rise in the number of coronavirus cases, has led him to this decision.
A spokesperson for the medical center lays emphasis on the fact that a hospital is within its legal rights when deciding who amongst their staff is essential. This includes a total of 1,700 staff members currently employed by the administration of Hadassah. As of now, only those workers will be permitted to work who have received the vaccine, or have contracted the disease before and possess antibodies. In addition, participants in the vaccine trials of Israel have also been categorized as essential.
In his letter, Rotstein wrote that he is pleading with the ministry to allot more vaccines to the medical center. He went on to add that in the case that this is not possible, the Health Ministry should at least place the staff of Hadassah at the top of the priority list for the coronavirus vaccine.
Those staff members that have been deemed by the administration of Hadassah as non-essential, will have to adhere to lockdown regulations that have been imposed on all Israeli citizens. The spokesperson clarified that this decision has not been made as the punishment that it is being perceived to be. Rather, it is only a way to ensure the safety of those who did not receive the vaccine, as well as curb the spread of the virus.
Rostein exclaimed that they received only 300 vaccinations on Wednesday. He highlighted the difference between what the hospital requires and what they are being given. Thus, the Hadassah will function as per the norm but, with only the approved staff available. The professor further specified in his letter that more than 300 workers of the medical center are sick due to the virus, and are isolated.
On midnight of Thursday, the country of Israel is preparing to enter a complete lockdown, owing to the coronavirus cases in the country that have reached an all-time high. As it is, hospitals are struggling to keep up with the increased number of patients.
Moreover, Hadassah announced on Sunday that they will be shutting down their vaccination clinic on Monday because they have run out of vaccines.