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Columbus-area hospitals now requiring COVID-19 vaccine for all employees, staff

The requirements come one day after the Ohio Hospital Association recommended hospitals independently adopt policies requiring vaccination.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Early in July the first hospital system in central Ohio announced it would require its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

After announcing the decision, leaders at Mount Carmel said it was a decision they did not take lightly.

Nearly one month later, three other hospital systems in the Columbus area announced their own requirements one day after the Ohio Hospital Association released a new policy statement, recommending hospitals “independently adopt policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff.”

  • OhioHealth will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all of its 35,000 associates, providers and volunteers. The deadline to become fully vaccinated is Dec. 1. 
  • Nationwide Children's Hospital is requiring all employees, care providers, volunteers and vendors to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.
  • Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is requiring faculty and staff to have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15. The policy applies to all faculty, staff and students who are already required to receive an annual influenza vaccination. 

“We want to be mindful of any potential surges that could then be impactful on delivering health care in our community,” said John Palmer, OHA Director of Media and Public Relations.

Palmer said hospitals have been exploring this and how to implement requirements.

“The science and the safety behind the vaccines are very encouraging and Ohio hospitals have engaged in education campaigns—both internal and external—demonstrating the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines,” said OHA President and CEO Mike Abrams in a news release. “Hospital employee and staff vaccination against COVID-19 will help ensure the long-term ability of our health care system to respond to the pandemic and the continuation of vital health care services.”

Ohio Hospital Association represents 245 hospitals and 15 health systems.

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