Pictured is Dr. Odens, president of the Floyd Valley Healthcare Medical Staff, receiving his COVID-19 vaccination from Tara Geddes, Plymouth County Community Health Director
(Le Mars, IA) — Last week, CMS announced emergency regulations requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers will be expanded to include hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies, among others, as a condition for participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The decision was based on the continued and growing spread of the virus in health care settings.
Over the past month, FVH has been carefully discerning next steps on the COVID – 19 vaccination requirements. Based on what we have learned through these conversations along with our need to provide a safe and protective environment for our patients, their families and our employees, FVH has made the decision to require all employees to receive COVID–19 vaccinations by January 1, 2022. Medical and religious exemptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
This decision was made in the best interest of all and for the greater good with the following information in mind:
- The vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people have safely received the vaccines. With over half of the U.S. population vaccinated plus millions across the world, COVID-19 vaccines are among the most tested vaccines ever.
- The Pfizer vaccine was fully approved by the FDA after reviewing data from the clinical trial and a longer duration of follow-up in a larger clinical trial population.
- Hospitals across the country are seeing increased numbers of COVID-19 inpatients – including young adults and children – not due to side effects of the vaccine, but COVID-19 illness.
- Children ages 0-11 are still vulnerable and recently the U.S. recorded a record number of children hospitalized in a single day. The best thing that adults can do to protect children is to get vaccinated.
- Even in the face of the Delta variant, vaccines are being shown to prevent cases, hospitalizations and deaths. When uncommon breakthrough COVID-19 infections do happen, most often the illness is mild. Hospitalizations and deaths are rare among the vaccinated.
- Numerous medical organizations support the requirement of COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers, including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Nurses Association, American College of Physicians, Catholic Health Association and more.
As a community member, if you are unvaccinated, please strongly consider your reasons for not getting vaccinated. Talk to your primary care provider if you have any questions. We also value your health and well-being.