The deadline for complying with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has passed but it's not yet known how many workers could lose their jobs.

The Dover hospital had a deadline of October 15 for workers to be fully vaccinated. Wentworth-Douglass is part of Massachusetts General Hospital and in July, Mass General Brigham officials announced that it is requiring its 80,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Wentworth-Douglass spokesman Adam Bagni told Seacoast Current prior to the deadline that only a very small number of our employees remain non-compliant with the policy.

"Employees who don’t comply will be placed on administrative leave and given a grace period to receive their vaccination. Religious and medical exemptions were also thoughtfully analyzed and considered," Bagni said in a statement.

Mass General Brigham told Boston Business Journal that 5,000 employees had not reported their status as of the end of September.

Wentworth-Douglas leadership was fully behind the mandate.

"Our culture is that of putting our patients first, and many of them are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. When we protect ourselves, we protect those we care for, which is our core responsibility,” Jeffrey Hughes, President & CEO of Wentworth-Douglass said in a statement.

Photo by Kimberley Haas

Members of the group NHPatriotHub.org held protests outside the hospital in the days leading to the deadline. A spokeswoman for the group did not return several messages from Seacoast Current about the mandate deadline.

Two New Jersey health care groups, RWJ Barnabas and Virtua Healthcare, fired a total of 238 employees for non-compliance with their mandates.

While New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu is a supporter of the COVID-19 vaccine he is  against vaccine mandates. He is concerned that the federal mandate requiring hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments to fully vaccinate their staffs could be short handed.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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