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Mandatory COVID-19 vaccine for staff at Ohio’s hospitals, board recommends

The first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Cincinnati was Katie Walz, a registered...
The first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Cincinnati was Katie Walz, a registered nurse who works in the cardiovascular ICU at UC Medical Center. Now, the Ohio Hospital Association Board of Trustees is recommending all hospitals in the state independently adopt policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff.(UCMC)
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 9:54 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:49 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) - The Ohio Hospital Association Board recommends all hospitals in the state independently adopt policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff.

Their announcement Tuesday morning comes as COVID-19 case counts are on the rise again amid the rapid spread of the delta variant.

“The COVID-19 delta variant is a game-changer in our fight to overcome this pandemic,” OHA President and CEO Mike Abrams said in a prepared statement.

“Low vaccination rates across Ohio and the country endangers not only the unvaccinated, which includes children under 12 years old and individuals who are immunocompromised but invites continued mutations of even more dangerous strains of the virus to develop, putting the health of our communities at serious risk.

“Scientific evidence and real-world experience show COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The science and the safety behind the vaccines are very encouraging and Ohio hospitals have engaged in education campaigns—both internal and external—demonstrating the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Hospital employee and staff vaccination against COVID-19 will help ensure the long-term ability of our health care system to respond to the pandemic and the continuation of vital health care services.”

Local factors should be used in determining whether, how, and when such policies are implemented, the hospital association says.

They also strongly encourage all Ohioans, especially health care personnel, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read the entire statement here.

On Monday, with COVID-19 case counts rising again amid the rapid spread of the delta variant, Cincinnati-area hospitals confirmed to FOX19 NOW they are considering mandatory vaccines for staff.

“At this time, discussions are currently ongoing for COVID-19 vaccination requirements in hospitals. This boils down to a decision on an individual system/ hospital level,” Christa Hyson, spokeswoman for The Health Collaborative, wrote in an email Monday to FOX19 NOW.

“There’s a lot of conversations amongst health care leaders, physicians, addition to legal, HR, etc… I do not have a definitive or timeline for this.”

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