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Truman Medical Center in Kansas City to require workers to be vaccinated for COVID

Truman Medical Center in Kansas City to require workers to be vaccinated for COVID

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Shawn Byrne

A health care worker at Truman Medical Centers/University Health inoculates Kansas City Fire Department EMT Shawn Byrne with the Pfizer-BioNTech covid vaccine. Although three members of that fire department died of covid-19, firefighters were not included in the first phase of vaccine distribution in Missouri. (Truman Medical Centers/University Health)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City announced Monday that it will require all workers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, becoming one of the first in the Kansas City region to do so.

“[Truman Medical Centers/University Health] wants to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our patients, our workforce, and our community safe,” Charlie Shields, president and CEO said in a written statement released Monday. Truman Medical Centers/University Health is an academic medical center providing health care in the Kansas City area.

“In doing so, we recognize the importance of leading by example. For that reason, and so the medical center remains able to care for the growing number of patients suffering from COVID-19, the entire workforce at Truman Medical Centers/University Health will be required to be vaccinated by Sept. 20,” Shields said.

The mandate is consistent with its long-standing practices of requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against serious infectious diseases for the safety of patients and staff. Approximately 70% of its staff have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus and its variants.

The announcement came on the same day more than nearly 60 professional medical groups and associations issued a joint statement calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all health care and long-term care workers, according to a release from the American Public Health Association.

Because of the recent surge in COVID-19 and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, the organizations and societies urged that all health care and long-term care employers require their workers to be vaccinated.

“This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being.”

Earlier this month, Chesterfield-based Mercy said it was requiring employees at its more than 40 hospitals in Missouri, Kansas and some neighboring states to get a COVID vaccination, becoming the fourth St. Louis area health system to mandate the shots.  

The rule goes into effect Sept. 30 for the hospitals, which are in such cities as Springfield, Joplin and St. Louis, as well as in Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

BJC HealthCare and Washington University on June 15 were the first major institutions in the St. Louis region to announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements, setting a Sept. 15 deadline for employees.

St. Luke’s Hospital made a similar announcement on June 25, with an Aug. 13 deadline. SSM Health came next on June 28, with employees having to be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

The Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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