Blue Cross Blue Shield terminates unvaccinated staff while other Chattanooga employers choose to wait

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “Unfortunately, 19 employees chose not to get vaccinated and are no longer with the company,” says Blue Cross Blue Shield Vice President Dalya Qualls.

Blue Cross Blue Shield provides insurance to thousands of families in the Tennessee Valley. They also provide jobs to over 900 individuals.

This week, those numbers dropped after a mandate to get the vaccine has kicked in.

“Once the Pfizer vaccine earned full FDA approval, those employees had six weeks to submit proof of full vaccination or request a medical or religious accommodation,” says Qualls.

Tennessee Neighbors for Liberty is hosting a rally this Saturday in support of healthcare workers who are fired for not getting the vaccine.

“These are my friends. These are family members. These people will not have the money to take care of their families and so the only thing I know to do is to act. We are doing more than rally8ing. We are calling in our elected officials,” says Glenda Pappu of Tennessee Neighbors for Liberty.

Employees at Chattanooga’s CHI Memorial Hospital have until November 1st to get fully vaccinated or face termination.

Both Erlanger and Parkridge hospitals in Chattanooga sent News 12 statements that they encourage employees to get the vaccine but they are waiting for information on a federal vaccine mandate before requiring it for their staff.

Neither Erlanger or Parkridge have released statements that they are offering job opportunities for terminated individuals.

“We appreciate their service to our members and communities throughout their time with Blue Cross and we wish them well in the future,” says Qualls.

“None of this has been legislated. According to our state constitution, if there’s a law, it has to come from the legislator,” says Pappu.

Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News