Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Major Hampton Roads Healthcare Systems Requiring All Employees to Be Fully Vaccinated

Sentara Williamsburg Medical Center (Courtesy Sentara)
Major health care systems in Hamoton Roads are requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Sentara)

Hampton Roads — Healthcare systems in Hampton Roads are requiring that all employees be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

Chesapeake Regional HealthcareChildren’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Health System, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare announced Wednesday, Aug. 25 that they have all expanded their vaccination policies to include this new requirement.

The announcement follows the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s July 18 statement in support of the requirement for all hospital and health system employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We applaud Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters
Health System, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare for taking this importantstep in the name of public health and safety,” Virginia Hospital and Healthcare
Association President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton said. “Virginia hospitals and health
systems have helped lead the way on vaccination efforts in the Commonwealth, having
collectively administered more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses since December
2020, including thousands of shots given to health care professionals.”

The mandate comes now that the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine.

Bon Secours said in a separate statement that it also plans to implement a vaccine requirement for all employees.

A date for vaccine requirements has not yet been determined, but it “will most likely be in the fall.”

“This decision is based on our firm belief, grounded in scientific evidence, that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any potential risks,” Bon Secours said.

Each healthcare system began the process of notifying team members of the new mandate Wednesday morning, giving employees eight weeks to become fully vaccinated.

The policy extends to all affiliated physicians, volunteers, students and others who work in and for the health systems.

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