A Florida doctor says she will no longer treat patients in person if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. Linda Marraccini, who still offers telemedicine for people who have not gotten the jab, said those patients needlessly put immunocompromised patients at risk.
“I understand that people are free to choose, but to me, it’s a problem when it affects other people,” Marraccini said, according to NBC 6 in Miami. "When it comes to the safety of others, when it comes to the fact that it’s a global health problem and community health problem, at this point, I really say that this is where it draws the line in the sand for me."
A letter Marraccini sent to patients said she would no longer treat unvaccinated patients in person starting Sept. 15.
Marraccini said she will still offer telemedicine and referrals to other physicians for those who are not vaccinated. She also said she would make exceptions for patients who cannot receive the vaccine due to health reasons.
“There’s been millions of deaths globally, so that’s not something to ignore. People are getting to the point where everybody knows somebody that died from COVID," Marraccini said. "This is a problem that really everyone needs to help out with, and it’s affecting our collective communal health."
Marraccini said 10%-15% of her patients remain vaccine-hesitant.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning the use of vaccine "passports." Now, state businesses and institutions, such as schools and government agencies, could face fines of $5,000 if they demand proof of vaccination from customers in exchange for service.
It is unclear whether the legislation covers medical offices requesting vaccination records.
“I don’t believe you can treat a medical clinic the same way you can a business," said attorney Juan Carlos Planas regarding Marraccini's policy. "But I also think that she lays something very clear that will probably impede the state's ability to fine any business ... She lays out in a medical way how exactly she wants to protect her staff, and she specifically states that no medical professional has found many people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. She even says that the antibody treatment is not a substitute for vaccination."
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Original Author: Matthew Miller