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

DAYTON — The three major Miami Valley healthcare providers have announced they will require all staff to get the COVID 19 vaccine.

Dayton Children’s was the first locally to announce a vaccine mandate for its workers. Employees there will have until Oct. 1 to become fully vaccinated or risk termination.

Premier Health is requiring workers to get the shot by Dec. 1.

Kettering Health is requiring employees, medical staff, students, volunteers and vendors conducting business in their facilities to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 4, the network announced.

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“This decision is made with a great deal of research, analysis and discussion, putting the safety of our children at the forefront,” Dayton Children’s said in an announcement this morning. “With the recent surge in COVID cases across the country, we must go further to protect our nation’s children. They cannot protect themselves. We must do it for them.”

Dayton Children’s said the decision was reached after the Children’s Hospital Association, American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association encouraged the move. Dayton Children’s does expect others to follow suit.

“It will be our expectation that more hospitals will be doing do,” said Deborah Feldman, Dayton Children’s CEO and President.

Premier Health and Kettering Health both joined in mandating the shot later Thursday.

“At Premier Health, our commitment to safeguarding the health of our patients, visitors, providers and staff is always our highest priority,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “Vaccination against COVID-19 is our best tool to prevent spread of the disease and ensure the health and well-being of our hospital workforce and the communities we serve.”

Kettering Health issued a statement saying it “has strongly encouraged vaccination, helping distribute more than 100,000 doses since last December. But with the recent rise in cases, we can and must do more.”

News Center 7 also has reached out to the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association about the mandate announcements from the areas hospitals.

“Even though children are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 infections, they have suffered,” Dayton Children’s said. “More than four million children have been diagnosed with COVID to date. Some have even developed MIS-C, in which their organs and even their skin becomes inflamed.”

Dayton Children’s CEO and President Deborah Feldman said over 60 percent of the network’s approximately 3,800 workers have already been vaccinated. The mandate covers all of Dayton Children’s workers, including those employed at urgent cares and other outpatient facilities.

“We made this decision, and we are very hopeful our staff will embrace it,” Feldman said, adding that they are understanding that some do not embrace the mandate decision.

Feldman said she’s aware that some may decide to leave the hospital due to the mandate and said that would be a decision the hospital “would regret greatly.” However, she’s “very confident that we will be able to continue providing the high-quality care our patients have come to expect.”

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All three of the available COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are currently able to be administered under emergency use authorization and none of them have received full FDA approval.

A report from the New York Times earlier this week said the FDA has sped up its timetable to potentially fully approve the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine as early as next month.

The FDA has said that its leaders recognized that approval might inspire more public confidence and had “taken an all-hands-on-deck approach” to the work.