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Vidant announces vaccine requirement for employees

Vidant Health announced on Friday that it will require all of its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Vidant has carefully reviewed national, state and local data and it is clear the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and greatly reduce the severity of the virus and/or hospitalizations in those who become infected,” a release from the health system reads. “As part of our commitment to protecting and caring for those we love, Vidant will require the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment for all team members, physicians, credential providers and contract workers.

“This decision is grounded in science, backed by industry leaders such as the American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association and the North Carolina Healthcare Association, and is the right thing to do to ensure the safety of our patients, team members and communities.”

According to the release, anyone in a leadership position (manager or above), physicians and credentialed providers must complete their vaccine series by Oct. 1. Team members, new hires and contract workers must complete theirs by Dec. 1.

“In addition to other important safety measures like the flu vaccine, the COVID vaccine will become a condition of employment; which means in order to be employed by or work at Vidant, team members must be vaccinated by the deadlines outlined above or have an approved medical or religious exemption,” the release continues “Ongoing requirements for those meeting medical/religious exemptions may include weekly testing and potential reassignment away from working on units with immuno-compromised patients.”

After several of the state’s largest hospital systems announced last week that they would require their employees to get vaccinated, Vidant publicly supported those decisions and said its leadership was “urgently discussing” a vaccine mandate at that time.