After notifying some employees of new COVID-19 vaccination requirements, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee fired its first employees who did not get the shot.
The insurer notified about 900 employees who work face-to-face with members or other organizations of the Oct. 4 deadline to get vaccinated, eventually firing 19 employees who refused, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Oct. 7.
"Unfortunately, 19 employees chose not to get vaccinated and are no longer with the company," Dalya Qualls, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's senior vice president and chief communications officer, told the Free Press. "We appreciate their service to our members and communities throughout their time with BlueCross, and we wish them well in the future."
The 900 notified employees make up only a portion of the company's 6,400 employee base in the state. However, many are still working remotely and are unaffected by the vaccine mandate.
About 70 percent of employees are vaccinated as of Oct. 7, according to the Free Press.