ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic says around 1% of its staff across all locations have been released from employment after opting to not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The deadline for Mayo employees to get the required vaccine was on Tuesday.
KIMT News 3 spoke with Jessica Moore-Wright - she worked at Mayo Clinic for 14 years before being let go because she refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Moore-Wright says she did try and apply for a religious exemption but was denied twice.
She said, "I believe in science and I also believe in a personal choice. I mean, I've had friends who have had cancer. I've had friends that have had different viruses and they would do different things but I would never, ever tell somebody that you need to do this because I did. Ever."
She tells KIMT a representative informed her she has a year to change her mind and get the vaccine which would allow her to get her position back.
However, Moore-Wright says she doesn't regret her decision and plans to stand by her choice to remain unvaccinated.
She explained, "To be able to stand up for something you believe in is important. I do think that every decision we make is important but if you believe in something strongly I don't believe you should have to cave to keep a job."
In a statement Mayo Clinic said in part, "While Mayo Clinic is saddened to lose valuable employees, we need to take all steps necessary to keep our patients, workforce, visitors and communities safe. If individuals released from employment choose to get vaccinated at a later date, the opportunity exists for them to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future job openings."
Mayo Clinic went on to say their vaccine requirement terminations are comparable tow hat other health care organizations have been experiencing.
The health care giant did not release the exact number of employees who lost their jobs due to not complying with the vaccine mandate.