Cleveland Clinic Mandates Vaccines For Staff - UH Reviewing Biden's Order

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The Cleveland Clinic has reversed its position and will now mandate vaccines for employees in accordance with President Joe Biden's new requirements for health care organizations that receive Medicare and Medicaid on Thursday.

"The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are the best way to protect individuals from severe illness or death from the virus," said Andrea Pacetti, a spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic, in a statement. "We are awaiting more information and plan to comply with federal requirements."

University Hospitals officials said they are still studying the issue.

"UH has a team discussing the details this new development and will communicate next steps to employees as soon as possible," Carly Belsterling, a UH spokesperson, said in a statement.

President Biden’s vaccine requirement is expected to impact as many as 100 million Americans, including healthcare workers and other employees in the Cleveland area. Cleveland Clinic and UH are two of the largest employers in the area.

UH officials said in a statement that they have a team reviewing the President’s mandate, but they are not ready to announce any changes to employees or the public.

UH and the Cleveland Clinic both say they will continue to encourage employees to get the vaccine and that they are waiting on more information about the new vaccine mandate.

MetroHealth already implemented a vaccine mandate in August that requires staff and contractors to be fully vaccinated by October 30. 

Speaking at a City Club of Cleveland forum in August leaders from both Cleveland Clinic and UH said they were not ready at that time to require vaccines for employees. Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic said there are concerns about large numbers of staff members quitting. 

“The shortage of health care workforce has never been as pronounced as it is today,” he said. “This is really a balance that we need to strike.” 

Biden announced the new requirements Thursday as part of a new “action plan” to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases.

The Ohio Hospital Association recommended hospitals mandate the COVID-19 vaccine even before the federal requirement, and the American Medical Association has announced its support of the President’s announcement.


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