Kettering Health makes changes to vaccine mandate; new exemption announced

KETTERING — Kettering Health announced Friday evening it has made changes to its vaccine mandate policy, including moving the requirement date back and a new exemption.

The organization says they have updated their policy to allow more time for staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by pushing the deadline to receive the final dose to December 1.

Kettering Health also said in a message to employees that a positive antibody test allows for employees to be exempted from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We will accept proof of current immunity in the form of a positive COVID-19 IgG Antibody test as a medical exemption to vaccination,” a memo said. “A positive antibody test must be completed and submitted no less than every three months. When the antibody test becomes negative, a vaccine series must be completed.”

The move by Kettering Health puts its policy in line with Premier Health’s, which previously allowed for the antibody test exemption.

“The positive antibody test exemption was part of our initial communication to our staff on alternative accommodations for previously infected individuals,” Premier Health said in a statement.

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“Since announcing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all Kettering Health employees, medical staff, students and volunteers, we have continued to have productive conversations with our teams,” a spokesperson for Kettering Health said in a release.

The change comes after hundreds of protestors recently gathered in front of Kettering Health’s Miamisburg headquarters, and later outside Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton Wednesday in response to the health care networks’ announcement of mandatory COVID-19 for employees.

>> Protestors demonstrate in response to COVID-19 vaccine mandates by area health care networks

As we navigate through the pandemic, we are continuing to review our vaccine policies and exemption process. As cases and hospitalizations increase across Ohio, we urge everyone that can be vaccinated to do so to protect yourself and everyone around you,” the release said.

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