Hospital networks: ‘Vast majority’ of employees now vaccinated as mandate deadlines approach

DAYTON — Monday marks one month until employees at the region’s three largest hospital networks must be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Deadline for COVID-19 vaccination pushed back to December for Dayton Children’s employees

As the December 1 deadline set by Premier Health, Kettering Health, and Dayton Children’s Hospital approaches, News Center 7′s John Bedell checked with the networks on the progress of staff vaccinations and the potential staffing impact.

>>City of Dayton vaccine policy starts today as unions warn of ‘public safety nightmare’

Premier Health, operator of Miami Valley Hospital and several other hospitals and offices across the area said the majority of their staff members have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.

>>RELATED: Premier Health, Kettering Health, Dayton Children’s to require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees

“The scientific evidence and real-world experience show COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Premier Health is committed to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and to protect patients and staff from infection in keeping with our mission. Premier Health has provided our staff with opportunities to seek an exemption, as we do with other required vaccinations,” a network spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of our staff are now compliant in advance of Premier Health’s vaccine requirement, and additional members of our staff are getting vaccinated as we approach Dec. 1, when the requirement takes effect.”

“We are monitoring our progress closely to ensure there is no disruption in patient care after Dec. 1.”

The spokesperson added the vaccine will be considered a condition of employment and refusal to get a shot, or get an approved exemption, will be considered a resignation at the deadline.

“Employees who have not completed the full vaccination series or received an approved exemption or accommodation within the time period outlined in our policy will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from their position,” the spokesperson said.

>>Dayton Children’s Hospital protesters argue against vaccine mandate; hospital backs its decision

A Kettering Health spokesperson echoed similar news of vaccine acceptance among staff members after the mandate was announced, saying the “vast majority” of the network’s workforce is now vaccinated.

“As we approach the December 1 deadline, we will continue to have productive conversations with those who have not followed the policy and determine the appropriate next steps. We continue to encourage our entire community to get vaccinated as the science shows it provides the clearest path out of this pandemic,” the Kettering Health spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

>>Kettering Health makes changes to vaccine mandate; new exemption announced

A spokesperson for Dayton Children’s Hospital responded to News Center 7 Monday afternoon saying the hospital has a “contingency plan in place to address a potential staffing shortage.”

The announcement of vaccine mandates at area hospitals has previously sparked protests from the Statehouse in Columbus, to outside hospitals and hospital network buildings here in the Miami Valley.

As the deadline for the networks approach, News Center 7 will continue to follow for developments and will update as new details become available.