Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Arkansas Hospital Association supports push for COVID-19 vaccine requirements for medical employees

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FILE – In this March 29, 2021 file photo, a worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Metairie, La. Moderna plans to expand the size of its study in younger children to better detect rare side effects. The company said Monday, July 26, 2021 it is in talks with the Food and Drug Administration to enroll more patients in its study of the vaccine in children under 12 years old and younger. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Hospital Association released a statement Tuesday supporting efforts by hospital leaders around the state to implement COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees.

According to the statement, the AHA strongly supports hospitals’ policies to require all medical employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, adding that the organization has been in support of vaccinations across the state since the release of the vaccine.

“The evidence is clear – vaccination against COVID-19 has prevented people from becoming seriously ill, requiring hospitalization, or dying from the virus, and it reduces the risk of spreading it to others,” the statement declared.

The organization also noted that reports from the Arkansas Department of Health show that 98 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations from the first half of the year were unvaccinated.

The statement also explained that the AHA recognizes that all hospitals and health systems are not the same and encourages each one to decide whether they will require COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees or not.

To help with the spread of COVID cases, some hospitals around Arkansas have already implemented new vaccine requirements for staff.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital is requiring vaccinations for hospital managers and leadership, as well as for new hires starting in August.

Multiple hospital systems in northwest Arkansas are also implementing requirements for staff.

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