Jacksonville hospital requires employees to get COVID-19 vaccine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Baptist medical will be requiring its staff- medical and not-to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Their CEO Michael Mayo says they have already set a deadline.

“We will be mandating vaccinations for our entire workforce with an effective date of November 15th,” Mayo says.

The hospital says employees will have to start the vaccination process or have submitted and been approved for an exception by November 15th. Just last week, the hospital said about a third of their employees had been vaccinated. They say it’s because their employees were scared, just as many people who have not gotten the vaccine yet.

“Number one on the list is a lot of misinformation. People are concerned about taking a vaccination that’s in an emergency use and they want to make sure that it’s safe and unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” he says.

Today, they are citing their decision to require the vaccine for all team members as an ethical responsibility

“This has been a long process in terms of listening to a lot of our team members, medical experts, are physicians, and we just feel that it’s the ethical and moral thing that we need to do,” Mayo says.

The hospital reports the new delta variant has contributed to a 300% increase in hospitalizations. most of those- unvaccinated.

“Well we had 521 patients across our system that were admitted and were COVID-19 positive patients, and of those we have about 95 in the ICU.”

The hospital is not the only one seeing rising numbers UF Health reports; they have 239 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 54 in the ICU. Ascension/St. Vincent’s reports 376 COVID-19 patients.

Baptist says they are the area’s largest employer and feel the need to lead other hospitals by example.

“It’s a one-by-one communication of encouraging everyone to get all the information, get the facts, and make a personal decision.”