New York State’s largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health, has laid off 1,400 employees who refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a spokesman, Joe Kemp.

As with other healthcare companies that have recently laid-off workers for failing to meet vaccine jobs mandates, laid-off employees represent a small percentage of Northwells’ workforce of more than 76,000, all of whom are now vaccinated.

New York’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers went into effect last week. Several other states, including California, have imposed similar measures.

Officials have attributed the requirements to the increased vaccination rate, although a small number of employees have decided they would rather lose their jobs than receive vaccinations.

Northwell announced a mandatory vaccine in August, weeks before state requirements. The company’s mission has been extended to both clinical jobs and non-clinical workers. “Our goal was not to terminate employees,” Kemp said. “Our goal was to get people vaccinated.”

Kemp said the layoffs would not affect patient care at 23 Northwells hospitals and other facilities. “Northwell regrets losing an employee under such circumstances,” the company said in a statement. “We owe it to our staff, our patients and the communities we serve to be 100 percent vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Source: U.S. News & World Report