Healthcare Workers Fired Over Vaccine Mandate Reinstated In Italian Hospitals

Unvaccinated health workers who were suspended in Italy for refusing to comply with the country’s vaccine mandate are set to be reinstated, the Italian government announced.

Orazio Schillaci, the Italian health minister, said on Friday that doctors and nurses who refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine would soon be allowed back to work, Reuters reported. The move was motivated by a wide shortage of health workers across Italy, with the unvaccinated staff welcomed back with open arms to assist while Covid-19 numbers dwindled.

“A measure is being finalised that will allow the reintegration into service of health staff subject to suspension proceedings for non-compliance with compulsory vaccination before the expiry date of the suspension,” Schillaci said in a statement posted to a government website.

The statement further noted that the Italian government would no longer post daily publication of statistics of hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19, instead releasing the data on a weekly basis, in a “gradual return to normality.”

The former left-wing Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, had instated a vaccine mandate on both health workers and teachers last year, extending the mandate to anybody over the age of 50 in January. Anyone who refused to take the vaccine would be suspended from work without pay, and if over 50, would face fines of €100.

Schillaci confirmed that all fines imposed as a result of the vaccine mandate would also be cancelled.

The decision follows that of the New York Supreme Court, who on Monday reinstated with backpay all employees in the state who were fired after deciding that they would remain unvaccinated. While “vaccination should be encouraged, public employees should not have been terminated for their noncompliance,” the Supreme Court ruled.

“As of the day of this Decision, CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation are the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” the ruling noted.

“The Petitioners should not have been terminated for choosing not to protect themselves.”

This news and commentary by Jack Hadfield originally appeared on Valiant News.

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