LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2021) — UK HealthCare announced today that the COVID-19 vaccination will be required for health care providers, staff, trainees, learners and those who work in UK HealthCare facilities.
Employees will be required to initiate a complete COVID-19 vaccination series by Sept. 15. The requirement includes a declination process for religious or medical reasons as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“This reinforces the importance of vaccination and, we hope, encourages more vaccination throughout the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, University of Kentucky executive vice president for health affairs. “Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures.”
UK HealthCare joins other hospitals in the state as well as nearly 60 major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, which have called for mandatory vaccination of health care workers as the highly contagious Delta variant drives a new surge of coronavirus cases.
COVID-19 cases in Kentucky are up more than 200% over the last 14 days causing hospitalizations in Kentucky to more than double with the great majority of those hospitalized being unvaccinated.
“Just as we have believed for years in vaccinations to slow the spread of influenza and its consequences for those who are medically compromised, we believe in COVID-19 vaccination as one crucial tangible step we can all take to provide a safe environment of care,” Newman said.
For more information, go to the UK HealthCare COVID-19 Vaccine Information page: https://covid-19.ukhc.org/covid-19-vaccine-information/.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.