ASHLAND — OhioHealth announced Tuesday that it will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all its 35,000 associates, providers and volunteers.
This requirement extends to both employed and independent physicians, to those in patient-facing and non-patient-facing roles and to students and vendors. The deadline to become fully vaccinated is December 1.
OhioHealth’s decision to require the COVID-19 vaccine falls in line with other health systems in Ohio and more than 50 health systems in the U.S. that are now requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for caregivers and staff. This healthcare vaccination requirement has been endorsed by more than 60 medical associations and societies nationwide.
“What we know for certain is that all three available vaccines are safe and effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” said Amy Imm, MD, vice president, Quality and Patient Safety, OhioHealth.
“With the Delta variant surging in Ohio and across the nation, now is the appropriate time for us to take an additional step to protect our patients, our ourselves, and each other.”
Since COVID-19 vaccines became available in December, more than 340 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S. Multiple studies have confirmed the vaccines’ safety and efficacy.
“I’ve talked with a number of people who were vaccine hesitant and once they are truly open to understanding the science behind the vaccine, they tend to get the shot,” said Joe Gastaldo, MD, medical director of Infectious Diseases, OhioHealth.
“The data tells the real story here and that is, if you look at all the deaths from COVID-19 in the last few months, 99 percent of them were among people who were not vaccinated," he said. "These deaths are largely preventable and that’s a real shame for the thousands of families and friends who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.”
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, OhioHealth also requires associates, providers and volunteers receive an annual flu vaccine as well as the Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella vaccines upon employment. Religious and medical exemptions may be granted to those who meet the exemption criteria.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine or to schedule a vaccine appointment, visit OhioHealth.com/COVID-19.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.
Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 35,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 12 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area. It has been recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” 14 times since 2007.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.