Spectrum Healthcare and Munson Healthcare have both posted correspondence and requirements regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for staff.
In July, Spectrum Health announced it would require the COVID-19 vaccine for team members, medical staff, students, volunteers and contractors. There were, however, exemptions, including those for religious or medical reasons.
Religious exemptions will be accepted in accordance with Michigan law. The medical exemptions were determined by clinical, vaccine and infectious disease experts on a medical exemptions committee, in accordance with the FDA label and research available to date.
Spectrum Health said a third exemption has been added as new research has emerged.
Spectrum Health said the Medical Exemption Committee has recommended allowing a temporary exemption for those who have had a PCR test or positive antigen test for COVID-19 from a CLIA-certified lab plus an antibody test. qualitative positive over the past three months.
Although Spectrum Health still recommends vaccination for people who have been previously infected with COVID-19, according to this new research, there is growing evidence that natural infection offers protection against re-infection with COVID-19 and severe symptoms for a while. Current studies are not clear on how long natural immunity protects against reinfection.
Vaccine trials and real-world data have shown that it is safe for people previously infected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and that side effects after vaccination were not greater in this group, according to Spectrum. Health.
If future evidence shows a significant decrease in this protection, a demonstration of more durable protection, or evidence of a validated quantitative result of antibody titer confirming immunity, the deferral requirements will be updated. , according to Spectrum Health.
Last week, Munson Healthcare announced its intention to fully comply with the planned COVID-19 vaccination requirements for hospitals and healthcare systems presented by President Joe Biden on September 9 and established a proactive COVID-19 vaccine requirement. for health system personnel.
âOur healthcare team has faced extreme challenges over the past year and the vaccine is an essential tool to help eliminate this virus,â said Dianne Michalek, director of communications for Munson Healthcare. “We look forward to learning more details on specific regulations and the government’s timetable.”
Under the announcement, the current workforce of employees, contractors, contractors and students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 7, 2022, or sooner if mandated by an organization regulatory. All new employees and suppliers who join the organization after September 30 and all volunteers will be required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment and volunteer opportunities.
Pending further regulations, all employees who currently work 100% remotely are excluded from this COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Members of the healthcare system and providers who fail to comply by January 7, 2022 face corrective action and possible termination, according to information released by Munson Healthcare.
The health system will accept requests for immunization exemptions until November 15. A process similar to that used to request an annual influenza immunization exemption will be used. A special committee will be set up to thoroughly review all requests for COVID-19 exemptions, Munson Healthcare said.
Michalek said the organization continues to advocate for all measures to limit the spread of the virus, such as universal masking inside healthcare system facilities, the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, hand washing and social distancing.
âWe know that for some people this is a very personal decision, but science tells us that it is a safe vaccine and that it will help us shorten the impact of the pandemic. This decision will not only improve lives, but save them, âshe said.