August 5, 2021
All employees, students and providers who work, learn or practice medicine at University of Missouri Health Care facilities must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, unless granted a medical or religious exception.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 prevalence, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb, largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant. The majority of MU Health Care’s COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, and data shows that unvaccinated people account for nearly 99% of recent U.S. COVID-19 deaths and more than 90% of hospitalizations.
"The safety of our patients, employees and community is our top priority," said Jonathan Curtright, MU Health Care's chief executive officer. "As a health system, our mission is to save and improve lives. We know vaccinations save lives."
MU Health Care joins nearly 90 other health care organizations across the U.S. and will be at least the sixth Missouri health system to implement a vaccination requirement. Requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for health care employees aligns with recommendations from top medical organizations and associations, including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association and many others.
"Since the vaccines first became available, we have strongly encouraged all employees to become vaccinated against COVID-19, as the vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to keep our communities safe," said Rick Barohn, MD, executive vice chancellor for health affairs for the University of Missouri. "We are pleased that, across our health system, we have reached a nearly 70% employee vaccination rate, but we can do better."
The Oct. 1 vaccination deadline provides time for employees to become fully vaccinated prior to the season when the flu and other respiratory diseases similar to COVID-19 begin to circulate.
For additional information, please see our COVID-19 employee vaccination requirements FAQs
For more details and information regarding COVID-19, visit muhealth.org/coronavirus.