WVU Medicine, Mon Health to require COVID vaccines for all employees

Coronavirus

Alfred Gest, M.D., was the first WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital employee to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — In response to the West Virginia Hospital Association’s (WVHA) announcement supporting health care systems to require COVID-19 vaccinations from their employees, both Mon Health and WVU Medicine have announced that they will now require their employees to get the vaccine.

The West Virginia University Health System announced on Monday that it will require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated with both doses of the two-dose series by Oct. 31, 2021. Mon Health announced they will also require their employees to receive the vaccine, but there is no set deadline to do so at this time.

“We’re doing this because it is the right thing to do. We are the state’s leading healthcare provider and largest employer, and we have a higher obligation to our patients as well as each other. I want WVU Medicine hospitals and clinics to be as safe as possible for our patients and staff. A fully vaccinated workforce will help ensure that safety,” said Albert L. Wright, president and CEO of the WVU Health System.

The decision from both of these health care systems come on the same day the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older.

“Extensive data show vaccines are safe and effective, and we have a responsibility as a healthcare entity to provide a safe environment to protect our patients, employers and community and serve as a leader in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Archana Vasudevan, Infectious Disease Physician at Mon Health.

These decisions also come in response to the West Virginia Hospital Association’s statement which supports the vaccination of health care personnel. The statement issued on Monday reads:

“West Virginia hospitals are committed to making the state’s hospitals safer for every patient, visitor and staff member. This commitment to the safety of patients and hospital staff is why hospitals have historically required vaccination against seasonal flu and other contagious diseases, and why some hospitals have recently announced COVID-19 requirements. Accordingly, the WVHA supports hospitals and health care systems that require COVID-19 vaccination of their employees, with local factors and circumstances shaping how and when their policies are implemented. West Virginia hospitals have seen first-hand the devastation COVID-19 has caused to the people of our state. They understand how deadly this disease can be. Physicians, nurses and hospitals’ clinical leaders are confident in both the science and the safety behind the vaccine, with the benefits strongly outweighing the minimal side effects. Hospital employees and staff vaccination against COVID-19 will maintain the long-term ability of our health care system to respond to the pandemic, to safely care for patients by protecting them from infection, and to mitigate the impact of the virus within health care facilities and among patients, hospital personnel, and their families and friends. It is important for hospitals and health systems to lead in the critical mission to increase vaccination rates; therefore, the West Virginia Hospital Association encourages all West Virginians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

For more information regarding the vaccine from either health care facility visit WVUMedicine.org/COVID or MonHealth.com/COVID-19.

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