After 30 Years on General Hospital, He's Out Due to Vaccine Mandate

Steve Burton refused to get COVID-19 vaccine
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2021 2:42 AM CST
After 30 Years on General Hospital , Actor Fired Over Refusal to Vaccinate
This July 26, 2012 file photo shows actor Steve Burton at the Disney ABC panel for "General Hospital" in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, file)

Steve Burton has been playing Jason Morgan on General Hospital since 1991. But no longer: The actor has been fired from the ABC soap opera for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Variety reports. Burton made the announcement himself on Instagram in a video including anti-vaccine rhetoric, and the show later confirmed the news. It's the only one of the four daytime dramas still running to have instituted a vaccine mandate; Days of Our Lives on NBC and The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS are still using other COVID protocols including testing and social distancing.

Ingo Rademacher, who had played Jasper “Jax” Jacks on the show since 1996, was also fired over his refusal to get vaccinated, and his last episode aired Monday. It's not uncommon for soap opera characters to be recast, and both actors' characters have been played by others in a few episodes in the past, but there are currently no plans to recast the character of Jacks. The fate of the character of Morgan remains unknown, but a tunnel collapsed on him in Friday's episode, and some fans hypothesized that might be the last viewers see of him. His last day of filming was Oct. 27, per the Hollywood Reporter. He indicated that if the mandate is ever lifted, he'd like to return as Morgan. (More vaccine mandate stories.)

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