LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Multiple hospitals in the Louisville area are taking a firm stand to limit the spread of COVID-19 by requiring staff to be vaccinated, some by the end of the day on Wednesday.
U of L Health and Norton Healthcare are requiring staff to be vaccinated, or submit a request for exemption, by Sept. 15.
A spokesperson for U of L Health said the system was still receiving exemption forms and it is unclear how many staff won't be getting the shot.
Norton Healthcare says nearly 99% of its employees are vaccinated.
"Leaders and managers have provided support to hesitant employees and ensured every employee has the information they need to decide whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccination," said Norton Healthcare Public Relations Director Maggie Roetker. "Thanks to those employees who have stepped up, we are confident in our ability to continue providing needed care for patients in our community."
Baptist Health Chief Operating Officer Patrick Falvey says over 70% of its workforce is fully vaccinated.
"We are hopeful that the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine as meeting high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality does persuade our remaining staff – and members of the public – to be vaccinated," said Falvey.
For Baptist Health employees who receive the Pfizer vaccine, Sept. 15 is the deadline to submit a request for exemption if an employee doesn't plan to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31.
Falvey says those who get Moderna or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine have more time to meet the requirements.
"We also support choice because we know that many times people just need more information or they need time to process information that they've received, but it's so critical for everyone in the healthcare setting to be vaccinated, said CEO of the Kentucky Nurses Association Delanor Manson.
"If you're going to be working in healthcare, you need to be safe. You still have a choice not to get a vaccine, but you can't put other people in harm's way when you decide not to get a vaccine."
It's still unclear if those who do not meet the deadline will face termination or another form of punishment.
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