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NEW JERSEY (PIX11) – Health care workers in New Jersey have three days to comply with Gov. Phil Murphy’s mandate, requiring them to get their first vaccine dose by Jan. 27.

Murphy doubled down on health care workers and anyone who works in high-risk settings, which could have a drastic impact on staffing shortages which skyrocketed during the recent COVID-19 surge. Despite a shortage in cases, President and CEO of University Hospital in Newark Dr. Shereef Elnahal said he does not believe the new vaccine mandate would impact staffing.

Currently, there are only about 8% of health care workers who get tested weekly. About 92% are already vaccinated, and they will push to get more people boosted, according to Elnahal.

“We’ve had bigger staffing problems with people being out due to COVID or for reasons related to COVID,” he said.

As for military aid, Elnahal said there are several people across all positions within University Hospital that have been a major help already. 

“They’re a major source of morale boost,” he said. “This has been a huge help already.”

The military aid is expected to stay with the hospital for at least 30 days. The hospital has a chance to request an exception, but Elnahal said there is a high demand for military help across the country.

Elnahal said he also believes they have peaked in COVID cases and hospitalizations. However, he said deaths may see an uptick over the next week or so due to a lag in sicknesses.