DETROIT, Sept. 14, 2021 — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the delta variant continues to spread, cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. As hospitals take on more COVID-19 patients, they also struggle to provide other health care services due to staff shortages — some of which are due to vaccine hesitancy among health care workers. To combat vaccine hesitancy, state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) is calling on both Democrats and Republicans to encourage health care workers to get vaccinated in order to address the medical needs of the public.

“I am so grateful for our nurses, doctors, lab technicians, medical assistants and other hospital staff that have been our backbone throughout this pandemic,” Johnson said. “They have sacrificed so much to ensure that we and our loved ones are safe and healthy, but they cannot protect us if they don’t protect themselves. The facts show that the COVID vaccine is safe and is our most effective tool to combat the pandemic. As elected officials, we need to come together to fight vaccine hesitancy, especially among our health care workers.”

This week Henry Ford hospitals have had to trim 120 beds from its five hospitals because of the lack of staff, and an upstate New York hospital system said it will be forced to pause maternity services because of staffing shortages due to some employees’ refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We were elected by the people to put their needs first,” Johnson said. “Calling for our health care workers to get the vaccine is one of the most important steps we can take to not only end this pandemic but ensure that our constituents will also always have the care they need.”