NASHVILLE, TN — Vanderbilt University Medical Center or VUMC have decided that the COVID vaccination is mandatory for all of its employees. VUMC is the first hospital in Nashville to implement this policy.
The latest report concludes that 75 percent of the total of 25,000 employees had been fully vaccinated as of mid-July. With the requirement of vaccination among employees, the figure rises to 92 percent among leaders.
“It is also important for those in leadership roles to be vaccinated to demonstrate VUMC’s overall commitment to promoting vaccination, both within VUMC and in our broader community,” quoted from the letter obtained by WPLN News.
As of now, Vanderbilt has contacted those employees as “leaders” and they are required to get their first dose by Aug 15 unless they have a religious or medical exemption approved by then. The vaccine requirement applied to everyone qualified as leaders, even those who have remote jobs that do not directly have interaction with patients.
Other employees are also required to take the COVID vaccine as a requirement to being an employee at VUMC, although the deadline for the rest of the workforce has not been set.
The two other large health systems in Nashville have not required COVID vaccinations. More hospitals have been making a mandate including Houston Methodist. The federal court has thrown out a lawsuit from more than 100 nurses that had challenged the hospital's mandate as “coercion” for them.
“Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer,” wrote the judge in a letter.
Tennessee hospitals had expressed their disagreement for a bill in the state legislature that would have banned employees from requiring COVID vaccines. No hospitals around the state had declared a mandate requiring all employees to be vaccinated in May.
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