First COVID-19 vaccine deadline for healthcare workers

Today is the first deadline for healthcare workers to prove they have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

On January 13th, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court permitted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also known as CMS, to enforce its final rule, requiring many providers and suppliers to vaccinate their staff for COVID-19.

All staff must receive a vaccination, excluding federally recognized exemptions for religious beliefs, disability and delayed dosing recommended by the CDC.

News 25 spoke to Memorial Hospital Director of Human Services Tony Alves about the vaccination rate among their employees and reactions to the vaccine mandate. “The reaction has gone surprisingly well, currently we are at 98 percent compliant with the mandate for CMS and that includes the 84 percent that are currently vaccinated, fully vaccinated believe it or not. The other percent have either requested their religious or medical accommodation and most of those have gone through. So, we’re doing really well in terms of our population being compliant with the mandate.”

According to CMS mandate enforcement, facilities that do not meet the mandate could face plans of correction, civil monetary penalties, and denial of payment or termination.

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