Florida Health Official Sidelined for Encouraging Vaccinations Among Staff
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The head of Florida’s Orange County Department of Health has been placed on administrative leave for an email he sent this month encouraging members of his staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Health Director Raul Pino lamented the low vaccination rate among employees in the Jan. 4 email, questioning “how we can be in public health and not practice it,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated,” Pino wrote. A Health Department employee reportedly complained about the email, sparking an investigation. A spokesperson for the Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that Pino is on leave, the Sentinel reports. “As the decision to get vaccinated is a personal medical choice that should be made free from coercion and mandates from employers, the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Health is conducting an inquiry to determine if any laws were broken in this case,” the spokesperson said.