In North Carolina’s five hospital systems, all employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Atrium Health, Novant Health, Corn Health, Duke Health and Wake Forest Baptists announced Thursday, according to a news release from the North Carolina Healthcare Association. Six UNC Health Hospitals (UNC Medical Center, UNC Rex, UNC Johnston, UNC Chatham, UNC Rocking Gum, UNC South East) also require vaccines.
“As you know, vaccination is the only and most effective tool needed to stop the spread of this virus and keep patients safe from COVID-19,” said Charlotte-based Atrium Health leader. I wrote in an email sent to the staff, what the hospital system provided to WFAE.
All hospital system employees, including remote workers, doctors, residents, faculty, fellows, trainees, contractors and volunteers, will be fully vaccinated by October 31st. It was written that it was necessary. The vaccine, its exemption, must be approved by the same deadline.
Based in Winston Salem but with a strong presence in the Charlotte area, Novant Health requires all team members to be fully vaccinated by September 15.
“We thank and thank the tens of thousands of team members who have been enthusiastic about the vaccine,” Novant Health said in a statement. “Unfortunately, vaccination rates are stagnant nationwide, including Novant Health.”
According to a Novant spokesperson, the hospital system will consider “some medical and religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis.” A spokeswoman said these tax exemptions and the requirements for applying for them are shared with Novant employees.
On Thursday, the North Carolina Healthcare Association, which has 130 affiliated hospital systems, expressed its support for mandatory vaccine policies and praised the six systems that chose to implement such requirements.
“Vaccination of hospital and medical system employees against COVID-19 safely cares for patients by protecting them from infection and viruses in medical facilities and between clinicians, patients and their families and friends. It is essential to reduce the spread of the disease, “NCHA said. In a news release.
North Carolina Health Minister Mandy Cohen also expressed support for the requirement in a statement.
“The North Carolina Healthcare Association and the medical system leading the way in needing vaccination of employees who have taken action to protect healthcare workers, their patients, our community, and the state. Thank you, “she said in a statement. “Vaccination is a way out of the pandemic. You don’t have to wait for vaccination.”
The announcement will be made when the delta variant of coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the United States, including North Carolina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated this week that more contagious strains account for about 83% of new COVID-19 cases.
At least four hospital systems in North Carolina had previously said they would encourage employees to get vaccinated, but they didn’t need vaccination.
“Our goal is to educate team members about the benefits and safety of vaccines, provide them with information, and enable them to make informed decisions about whether to receive the vaccine,” said Novant’s Senior Deputy Becky Bean, President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, said. Told WFAE December 2020.
In January, just one month after the vaccine became available, Half of hospital workers Charlotte had no plans for the COVID-19 vaccine.
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