We've heard of doctors being required to get the COVID vaccine, but now some doctors are requiring it of their patients. One family physician in Florida recently announced she will no longer see patients who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19, citing them as a health risk to her and other patients. Dr. Linda Marraccini says she will still see unvaccinated patients via telemedicine, but not in person.
KTRH Medical Expert Dr. Joe Galati does not agree with Dr. Marraccini's mandate. "My opinion of this is it is uncalled for," he says. "Is it truly in the best interest of patient care, or is it some sort of a subtle political statement that they are making?"
Dr. Galati tells KTRH that risk of many types is inherent in the job of a doctor. "Some doctors have to treat things like drug-resistant tuberculosis," he says. "We have to take precautions, accept a low risk, and take care of the patient."
Concerns about the risk from unvaccinated patients may be overblown anyway, since nearly all doctors and medical facilities have instituted strong safeguards during the pandemic, like enhanced cleaning, mask-wearing and pre-exam temperature and health checks. "I don't think for relatively short-term exposures or contacts with patients or people, that it warrants not having them come in," says Galati.
Dr. Galati favors a more proactive approach with his patients when it comes to coronavirus. "I hate to discriminate against the patient, rather than try to have a reasonable conversation with them as to the benefits of being vaccinated," he says.