MetroHealth requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees: ‘Proud of this decision’

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – “We are proud of this decision,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, to reporters while answering questions about the hospital group’s announcement it would require vaccines.

The MetroHealth System announced Thursday that all employees, staff, contractors, and volunteers will be required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

The hospital group set a deadline of October 30, 2021.

“Protecting caregivers against COVID-19 is the right thing to do,” said Dr. Boutros. “Our profession has been hailed as heroic because we were there when there was no protection from this disease. We cared for people and put ourselves at risk. We don’t have to do that anymore. We can and have to take care of our patients and ourselves.”

The policy states, “Vaccine requirements for health care employees are nothing new. MetroHealth already requires annual flu vaccinations, as well as measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations as a condition of employment. Like the flu vaccine, there will be exceptions for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons.”

Those who don’t receive the vaccine will be subject to disciplinary actions, including termination.

MetroHealth says the same goes for its policy on flu shots.

“Hospital leaders are fully confident the vaccines are safe, effective and our best protection against this dangerous virus,” the policy states.

“Our highest priority is keeping people safe,” Dr. Boutros said.

“It’s right for our patients, right for our employees, and right for our community.”

The announcement was made internally Thursday as well.

Dr. Boutros said the feedback so far has been 100% positive.

The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals told FOX 8 they are strongly encouraging employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but are not mandating it at this time.

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