For Immediate Release
February 24, 2021
Oakland, Calif. – Amidst growing evidence of inequities in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across the state, healthcare workers at HCA Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose are concerned about their employer’s refusal to provide data on staff vaccination rates.
“For many healthcare workers, this is a life-or-death situation. As the vaccine ravages communities of color, we need to know if there have been equitable vaccination rates across departments with predominantly Black and Latino workforces,” says Mary Blackman, a pediatrics unit clerk at Good Samaritan. “We want to know how successful the Good Samaritan Hospital’s outreach to all of its staff has been.”
Good Samaritan Hospital was suspended from Santa Clara County’s vaccination program in January after authorities discovered that a select group of community members we encouraged to receive the vaccine before they were eligible under county guidelines. Earlier this month, Good Samaritan Hospital permanently closed its vaccine clinic.
SEIU-UHW, the union representing many of the caregivers at Good Samaritan, requested the vaccination rates for their members from the hospital in early January.
“The lack of transparency is unsafe for patients and staff,” says Mary Blackman, a pediatrics unit clerk at Good Samaritan. “Our hospital has been hit hard by COVID, and we have to know if our co-workers are getting protected. The hospital has a responsibility to encourage vaccination amongst workers from hard-hit communities, and we want to work with them to do it. The fact that they are refusing to provide the information makes us wonder what they are hiding.”
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the United States, with over 97,000 members.