UVA Health to require COVID-19 vaccine for all employees
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health has announced it will require all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine by November 1.
“These vaccines will save lives, prevent unnecessary sickness and help us ensure we have the capacity to provide the best care possible not just for patients with COVID-19 but for all patients,” said K. Craig Kent, MD, UVA’s executive vice president for health affairs. “It is part of our duty as a leading academic medical center to protect the health of our patients, guests, team members and community.”
In a press release sent out on Wednesday, UVA Health said “All employees must get their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 18. Anyone who remains unvaccinated on Nov. 1 will face disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination.”
The new requirement puts pressure on the reluctant, or hesitant, to get the shots -- and it puts pressure on the health system to help them get vaccinated.
UVA Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Reid Adams says “it’ll be a conversation that everybody’s going to need to have”.
To answer the challenge of getting that last portion of people protected, UVA says it all starts with accessibility.
“We have vaccination slots and we want to make sure that it’s more most convenient as possible and so we’ll be opening additional slots,” said UVA Medical Center COE Wendy Horton. “We have a vaccination clinic that will be right here on grounds to make it very convenient for those employees.”
UVA Health says it will consider requests for exemptions to the policy for medical and religious reasons.
During a news briefing on Wednesday, UVA Health says about 86% of its Medical Center employees are fully vaccinated, but that does not include contractors or volunteers -- both of whom are included in the vaccine requirement.
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