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Ohio hospital system will require vaccine for all employees

The employees will face termination if they refuse, Trinity Health says.
A national healthcare system with Ohio locations will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for...
A national healthcare system with Ohio locations will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for most employees by September 2021.(Pexels/Generic)
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) - One of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the nation on Thursday announced it will require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those who cannot demonstrate a religious or health exception and still refuse will face termination.

Trinity Health has more than 117,000 employees serving 30 million people in 22 states nationwide.

It operates the Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, comprising around 12,000 employees including 2,000 physicians across four hospitals.

So far, no Greater Cincinnati healthcare systems have publicly announced a vaccine requirement.

In Houston, more than 150 employees at a hospital system who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine were fired or resigned after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit over that system’s vaccine requirement, AP reports.

The judge said that if employees of the hospital system didn’t like the requirement, they could go work elsewhere. The workers have appealed.

Trinity Health’s vaccine requirement would run afoul of Ohio House Bill 248, which would prevent Ohio businesses and schools from requiring vaccines.

That bill, introduced in April by a West Chester House representative, has not left the Health Committee. A bill prohibiting vaccine requirements only in schools currently sits on Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.

Trinity Health provided a release in which it refers to CDC data showing vaccines are “safe and effective against symptomatic infections, hospitalizations and death with more than 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths today occurring in unvaccinated people.”

In its release, Trinity Health says it has encouraged vaccinations since the FDA gave emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccines. It estimates nearly 75 percent of employees have already received at least one dose.

All colleagues, clinical staff, contractors and those conducting business in Trinity healthcare facilities are covered by the vaccine requirement.

If a booster shot becomes necessary, employees will have to get that as well.

>> Pfizer to seek OK for 3rd vaccine dose; shots still protect

Most employees must submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21, 2021.

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