By Stetson Miller

BEL AIR, Md.(WJZ) — Harford County Council is asking the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake in Bel Air to reconsider its vaccine mandate, citing concerns that it may prompt some hospital staff to leave and cause understaffing issues.

“If we lose a percentage of our employees because of the mandate what does that do to wait times and health care into the future?” said county council president Patrick Vincenti.

READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Gov. Larry Hogan To Provide COVID-19 Update

The mandate requires employees at the hospital to be vaccinated by October 1st. And all staff within the University of Maryland Medical System are required to be vaccinated. 

Many county council members are concerned that if hospital employees leave, that will increase wait times between first responders and health care workers at the hospital.

“There needs to be some sort of a plan that does not have their employees walk away but maybe come up with something else,” said Vincenti.

READ MORE: Rise In Teen Girls With 'Tic-Like' Behaviors Could Be Linked To TikTok, Doctors Say

Some hospital workers at the hospital are planning a walkout on October 1.

When the requirement was announced earlier in the year, the hospital system’s President and CEO Dr. Mohan Suntha said:

“We follow the science, and the scientific evidence tells us that from a safety and efficacy standpoint, COVID-19 vaccines represent a dramatic accomplishment and a clear pathway out of this pandemic.”

MORE NEWS: Two Men Shot At Severn Basketball Court

As healthcare professionals, we accept that we hold ourselves to a higher standard and we embrace our mission to devote ourselves to the welfare of those in our care. COVID-19 vaccines are by far the best way to stop the spread of the virus and given our ethical obligation to our patients, we must take every appropriate to keep our hospitals and other locations as safe as possible.”

Stetson Miller