KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children's Mercy Hospital announced Friday that all employees were recently notified they will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 15.
They join other hospitals and employers in the area who have made vaccination mandatory for staff following the Pfizer vaccine's full FDA approval, such as Cox Health and the University of Kansas Health System.
All employees, including "clinical and non-clinical staff, contract and remote workers, students, non-employed residents, fellows, interns and volunteers" will need to be fully vaccinated, according to a release from the hospital.
“Implementing this mandate will further improve employee safety, and that of our patients and community,” Paul Kempinski, president and CEO of Children's Mercy, said in the release. “Currently, about 80% of our employees have been fully vaccinated. Although this is great progress, we believe we can and must do better. By committing to this policy, we are doing our part – honoring our obligation – to keep our patients, employees and community safe, and to halt the pandemic’s devastating impact.”
The release cites that the vaccines have been proven safe and are the best way to prevent severe illness from COVID-19, along with the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine as part of their reasoning for requiring the shot.
Staff can obtain a medical or religious exemption from the requirement. The accommodation will need to be approved by Children's Mercy by the Dec. 15 deadline.