JACKSON, Mich. — Henry Ford Health Officials are saying telling employees, if you want to continue working for us, you need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to health system officials, 98 percent of their workforce has received at least one shot of the vaccine.
Henry Ford Health President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer Bob Riney says the organization is happy to see the boost in vaccinated staff.
“We are incredibly proud of the commitment our team has made to public health, the health and safety of our patients and their families and to each other as well as the communities in which they reside,” Riney said.
When Henry Ford Health first announced their vaccine mandate on June 29 their workforce vaccination rate was at 68 percent, Riney said Monday.
“Today’s update of 98 percent is a testament to how deeply our team cares about their role in ending this pandemic,” he said.
Henry Ford Health Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Adnan Munkarah says this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated now.
“The majority of people are being in the hospital and who are getting very sick or people are unvaccinated,” Munkarah said. “Statewide, infections are up 22 percent in the past two weeks and hospitalizations are up 15 percent. This is why we continue to be concerned about these trends that we are seeing and the fact we might see another surge with increase of patients within the next few weeks.”
Analysis by the Centers for Diseas Control and Prevention shows unvaccinated people are far less likely to get infected, to be hospitalized and likely to die of a severe infection if they do get sick.
“Only 10 percent of patients in the intensive care unit related to COVID were vaccinated. This means that 90 percent that are critically ill are unvaccinated,” Munkarah said. “The same with respect to people on ventilators.”
Munkarah said COVID patients across their health system who are vaccinated and needed a ventilator are about 10 percent.
“This means the vast majority of people who are ventilators are, 90 percent are unvaccinated. This reflects the severity of the illness. So what you are seeing is that the vaccinated people have less severe illness than we are seeing with the unvaccinated people,” Munkarah said.
President Joe Biden announced a broad vaccine mandate last week that covers most health care works, among others, but Henry Ford Health is imposing an earlier deadline.
Officials say employees who haven’t received their vaccinations yet but will get their first dose before Oct. 1 can to return to work, otherwise it will be considered a voluntarily resignation.
Riney says, by doing this, employees who haven’t been vaccinated can be eligible for rehire.
“If they have a change of heart at any time, they get vaccinated and they want to return to work for us they won’t have on their record they were terminated but rather they resigned from their employment,” Riney said. “At the end of the day if someone refuses to resign as a result of this and they don’t comply then we would have to terminate their employment.”
Employees who have yet to receive a vaccination are currently suspended without pay. They have until Oct. 1 to receive at least one dose.
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