SPOKANE, Wash. — The number of healthcare organizations requiring staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19 continues to grow around the Inland Northwest.
Health officials continue to call on those who are not vaccinated to get the shot, as the unvaccinated continue to make up the vast majority of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Members of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) recently held a press conference about the rise of the development of the delta variant. They said with vaccines being so readily available, the current surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations is scary, physically draining and emotionally draining for health care workers, who have been dealing with the pandemic for more than a year and a half.
Here’s a list of healthcare organizations in the Inland Northwest requiring the vaccine and their statements:
All staff will be required to be fully vaccinated by the fall of 2021. According to MultiCare’s Inland Northwest media relations manager Kevin Maloney, most of the staff is already vaccinated but they will continue to offer vaccine education to all employees. Maloney also said that they will treat this vaccine similarly to the flu vaccine, which has been a condition of employment for several years.
A statement from Providence about staff vaccinations is as follows:
All Providence caregivers in Washington are required to get vaccinated and show proof of vaccination. Those who do not get vaccinated will be required to sign a declination and follow additional protocols, such as enhanced COVID-19 testing, mandatory vaccine-related education/discussions, and/or other infection prevention requirements in accordance with ministry policy, CDC or state and local public health government mandates may be required. Universal masking remains in effect in Providence hospitals and clinics.
Unvaccinated employees and physicians will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply for a medical or religious exemption. Kaiser Permanente is aiming to have its entire workforce fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.
“Making vaccination mandatory is the most effective way we can protect our people, our patients, and the communities we serve," said Greg A. Adams, the chair and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc. "We encourage all health systems and business and industry leaders across the country to play a role in ending the pandemic by doing the same."
Pullman Regional Hospital announced that they will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 27.
The hospital's statement is as follows:
"The vaccine is the most valuable technology for fighting the pandemic. By full vaccination of employees, our organization has an opportunity to set an example and facilitate the healthiest quality of life for our community. We agree with public health experts and virologists in that the vaccine is both very safe and extremely effective."