More and more hospitals and major healthcare systems are demanding that employees be vaccinated with Covid-19. This is due to the increased number of cases caused by the Delta variant and the stubbornly low vaccination rates within the community and even within employees.
Many hospitals say efforts to immunize employees are stalled, much like national vaccination rates are stalled. Less than 60 percentBehind many European countries and Canada.on the other hand Over 96% of doctors According to the American Medical Association, they are completely vaccinated, but especially in rural areas, health care workers. Thousands of workers He died of the virus and became innumerable illnesses.
Recent one Estimate One in four hospital workers had not been vaccinated by the end of May, and some facilities reported that less than half of their employees were vaccinated.
From academic medical centers like NewYork-Presbyterian and Yale NewHaven to large chains like Trinity Health, some hospitals have the only way to stop the virus by immunizing as many people as possible. We are proceeding with delegation because we are aware of this. as soon as possible. Banner Health, a large Arizona-based chain, announced on Tuesday that it would impose a mandate. New York City All health care workers in municipal hospitals and clinics said they needed to be vaccinated or tested weekly.
By monitoring the increase in cases, Trinity Health, a Catholic system with hospitals in 22 states, became one of the first major groups to decide to mandate vaccination earlier this month. “I was convinced that the vaccine could save lives,” said Dr. Daniel Ross, Chief Clinical Officer at Trinity. “These are preventable deaths.”
In Florida’s UF Health Jackson Building, the number of Covid patients being treated has skyrocketed to levels not seen since January, and only half of their health care workers are vaccinated, responsible for infection prevention. Chadnielsen said. Seventy-five employees are infected with the virus, the majority of whom are unvaccinated, and more are waiting for test results. “We are absolutely struggling with staffing right now,” he said.
“It’s like déjà vu,” said Nielsen, who explained the growing frustration with colleagues who refused to take shots. “We have reason to believe that this could end if people were vaccinated.”
Despite dozens of virtual town halls, Q & A sessions, and educational videos, many employees are on the alert. “We are still stagnant,” said Nielsen.
Hospital leaders and others are planning to meet with state officials in the coming weeks on the possibility of imposing missions, he said.
Unvaccinated workers are also continuing to care for the most ill patients, especially now that highly contagious delta variants account for more than 80% of national cases, they spread the infection. It raises concerns that it may be.
“Healthcare professionals who were heroic during this pandemic are caring for patients with a variety of health challenges, assuming that the treating caregivers are not at risk of acquiring patients. This isn’t as important as a hospital, or we’ll send you a Covid-19, “said Dr. David J. Skorton, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Medical Colleges on behalf of educational hospitals. statement I asked for a mandate last Friday.
On wednesday American Hospital AssociationJoined the growing cry for vaccination obligations. “We lost a lot of caregivers to Covid-19,” said Dr. Bruce Siegel, CEO of Essential Hospital in the United States, which represents hospitals in poorly serviced areas. “Vaccination can reduce the risk of us losing more.”
Hospitals find themselves at the center of a national debate over whether to impose obligations, as formal approval of vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration can be months away. Vaccines are provided under an emergency use authorization, but supporters claim that there is ample evidence that vaccines available in the United States are safe and effective.
In states like Missouri, Rapid increase in cases, There is a newly discovered urgency. Dr. Shefari Wolff, Head of Infectious Diseases at SSM Health, a Catholic hospital system headquartered in St. Louis, said: Currently, about two-thirds of employees are vaccinated, and SSM requires everyone to be vaccinated first by September 1.
The SSM decision was also motivated by concerns that Covid infections could surge this fall, when other respiratory infections could also surge. “We need a healthy workforce to enter the flu season,” said Dr. Wolf. “I don’t have time to wait for approval.”
However, some systems are already concerned about staff shortages due to departures during the pandemic, and many employees are quitting due to the stress and burnout experienced by caring for Covid patients. Hospitals are hesitant to risk losing more workers if they force the problem.
“They fear it could be a turning point,” said Anne-Marie Pettis, president of the Association of Infection Control and Epidemiology Experts. Encourage the hospital I need a vaccine.
At Mosaic Life Care, a small hospital group in Missouri, executives are hesitant to hire a mandate if no other hospital hires it. “We can lose caregivers to other systems,” said Joey Austin, a spokeswoman for Mosaic, who vaccinated about 62% of our staff.
Many hospitals already require employees to be vaccinated against the flu. This is a duty that has been in place for over a decade. It was also met by resistance from employees skeptical about the safety of the vaccine, but it is now widely accepted. Individuals can seek medical or religious exemptions. This usually represents a small fragment of the workforce, and hospitals say it also applies to the Covid vaccine.
Saad B, director of the Institute for Global Health, Yale University. Omer said he requires “establishing social norms and saying that they are institutional priorities,” and hospitals need to strongly encourage workers to voluntarily succeed in vaccines. I emphasized that there is.
Unions such as the National Nurses United and 1199 SEIU want members to be vaccinated, but oppose making it a condition of employment.At Houston Methodist, the first hospital to impose mandates, a group of employees challenged the requirements, but a recent proceeding was filed. Dismissal.. Of the total workforce of about 26,000, about 150 employees were eventually resigned or fired because they missed the vaccination deadline.
Hospitals say they are working hard to dispel much of the false information that is prevalent around vaccines, even among doctors and nurses.
“We have to remind them that reputable scientists haven’t published their findings on YouTube,” Dr. Wulff said. She and her SSM colleagues not only provide solid data on the vaccine, but also share their personal experiences, such as vaccination when they are about to become pregnant. “What I found is that people are impressed with the stories and anecdotes,” she said.
“In general, there’s a lot of listening and homing to what’s causing their fears,” said Dr. Wolf.
Famous systems like Intermountain Healthcare and Cleveland Clinic await. The clinic, which has a vast network of 18 hospitals in the United States, said existing policies such as infection masking and close tracking protect patients and workers.
K. Kelly Hancock, Chief Caregiver Officer at Cleveland Clinic, said:
Currently, about three-quarters of employees are vaccinated, and efforts are being continued “at full power,” she said.
At Intermountain Healthcare, based in Utah, the “majority” of employees are vaccinated, said Dr. Christine Duscombe, director of infection prevention and management and employee health care.
If more safety data are compelling and the FDA approves the vaccine, Intermountain may require immunization along with other hospitals in the state. “We are now starting a conversation in Utah,” she said.
The lack of full FDA approval is also affecting other hospitals. General Brigam, who has vaccinated more than 85% of the workforce, said he would adopt this requirement as soon as the vaccine was approved.
Some hospitals claim that delegation is not necessary. “In my opinion, there is more than one correct answer,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinic. He said that about 90% of the workers are now vaccinated, adding that he is confident that virtually everyone will be immunized by the end of the year.
According to Gunasekaran, the system was “successfully lacking” in vaccine hesitation, partly because Iowa was involved in clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Northwell Health, a large hospital group in New York, does not require workers to be vaccinated against the flu, but Northwell’s chief human resources officer says that about 90% of the workforce is vaccinated against the flu. One Maxin Carrington said. It takes a similar approach to Covid.
“We want people to be believers,” Carrington said. That way, they can persuade the entire community to be vaccinated. She described the system as “pavement into education, education, education.” Currently, about 76% of employees are vaccinated against Covid. She said Northwell would revisit the idea of mandate after the FDA approved the vaccine.
Yale New Haven Health now requires employees to be vaccinated, like other hospitals in Connecticut.
“From the beginning, I told you it wasn’t required — not yet. We still emphasized,” said Dr. Thomas Balsezak, Chief Clinical Officer at Yale University.
“Healthcare must take the lead,” he said.
More hospitals impose vaccine obligations on employees
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