BOSTON (CBS) – The deadline is approaching for Boston area hospital employees to show proof of vaccination in order to avoid getting fired.

Tufts Medical Center employees were among the first in Massachusetts to get vaccinated. Now 10 months later, it’s a requirement to work there. “I know it’s really controversial, but I think that everybody should be vaccinated to end this thing once and for all,” said employee Katie Juhasz. “I actually work in the COVID clinic respiratory infection clinic and we’re seeing a lot of unvaccinated people.”

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A spokesperson for the hospital’s parent company, Wellforce, says the company has been hiring as the deadline approaches for employees to submit proof of vaccination. Not only at Tufts, but MelroseWakefield and Lowell General Hospitals, 325 people still have not done it – 97.5% have.

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At Mass General Brigham, which encompasses both hospitals and their affiliates, the deadline is October 15. So far 95% have been vaccinated and 4,000 have not submitted proof that they have. Boston Medical Center’s system has a 90% vaccination rate. That leaves 950 potentially unvaccinated there.

“Lean staffing models have been happening for a while. We’ve been trying to address that with hospitals across the state,” said Mary Havlicek Cornacchia, a member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s Board of Directors.

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The MNA is not opposed to vaccine mandates, but is concerned about the effects. “To have a mandate in place where they’re going to be dismissing nurses, only just magnifies the problem of staffing,” she said.

Christina Hager