COVID-19 vaccine remaining optional for hospital workers locally

MIAMI VALLEY — The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to remain voluntary for Dayton-area healthcare workers at least until the Federal Drug Administration gives the vaccines full approval, according to the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have submitted for full FDA approval.

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Moderna company officials said they will submit data to the FDA on a rolling basis with a request for a priority review. This distinction would have the FDA taking action on the application within six months, according to CNN. The news network reported that the standard review process typically takes 10 months.

In Central Ohio, Mount Carmel Hospital announced this week it will be requiring all hospital staff employees by the end of the year, according to a report from 10TV.

GDAHA previously developed, in coordination with member hospitals, a mandate healthcare workers to receive the influenza vaccine, however conversations about a similar program for the COVID-19 vaccines would not happen until after full approval is given for the shots from the FDA, said Sarah Hackenbracht, President and CEO for GDAHA.

“At this time, we strongly recommend, but do not require the Covid-19 vaccine for employees. We review decisions on this topic regularly as new information is released,” said Dr. Adam Mezoff, chief medical officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Kettering Health also said it is strongly recommending its employees get the shot, but is not requiring it.

Premier Health also said it is not currently requiring the vaccine.

“These vaccines at the present time are being administered under “emergency use authorization” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” Premier Health said in a statement.