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Vaccine Requirement for All Employees

September 01, 2021

Kansas City, Kan. — The University of Kansas Health System today notified employees in its Kansas City Division that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for employees, volunteers, students, temporary workers or contractors working in Kansas City-area facilities, and for all University of Kansas physicians.

The health system, like other academic medical centers across the country, studied the data and CDC guidance to inform its policy. Health system leaders used a thorough and thoughtful process before making the decision to require our employees and physicians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Evidence has shown vaccines provide the best protection against severe infection, hospitalization and death. As hospitals across the region see increasing hospitalizations and positive COVID -19 cases, and with recent full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, The University of Kansas Health System felt it was time to take this next step.

We are always committed to providing the very best and safest care for our patients. We know we are making the right decision for our organization, our employees, our patients and physicians. We continue to strongly encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated. – Tammy Peterman, RN, FAAN

President, Kansas City division

'The right decision for our organization'

While vaccination rates in Kansas and Missouri remain lower than 50%, The University of Kansas Health System continues to support efforts to educate on the safety and importance of vaccinations. A majority of our physicians and employees have already chosen to receive the vaccine, and they strongly encourage our patients and their friends and family to also get vaccinated.

“We are always committed to providing the very best and safest care for our patients,” said Tammy Peterman, RN, FAAN, president of the Kansas City division for The University of Kansas Health System. “We know we are making the right decision for our organization, our employees, our patients and physicians. We continue to strongly encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated.”

This requirement is similar to other requirements of employment including flu vaccinations and being up-to-date on MMR and tetanus inoculation, all of which help ensure patient and staff safety.

Those not already fully vaccinated will have until Dec. 1 to complete a CDC (or WHO)-recommended vaccine regimen. The health system appreciates the variety of opinions expressed on this topic, and will be continuing to discuss with employees their thoughts and questions ahead of the Dec. 1 deadline.

Tammy Peterman: I'm Tammy Peterman, president of the Kansas City division of The University of Kansas Health System. We told our employees and physicians several weeks ago we would be announcing our decision on a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on or before September 1st. Today we shared the decision to require the vaccine for all employees, physicians, students and contractors in the Kansas City division of our health system by December 1st. Our team went through a very thorough and thoughtful process before making the decision.

Tammy Peterman: In the past several weeks, we heard diverse opinions and perspectives from our staff. As an academic medical center we value and thrive on robust discussions such as this. We also thrive on facts and science, both of which are telling us this is the best decision for our organization, our staff, our patients and our community.

Tammy Peterman: A majority of our physicians and employees have already chosen to receive the vaccine and they're strongly encouraging our patients and their friends and family to also get vaccinated.

Tammy Peterman: Our team knows all too well the pandemic is far from over and the Delta variant has changed things. The science shows us the vaccine prevents us from severe illness hospitalization and death.

Tammy Peterman: We have a responsibility to our community to provide care to all patients. Reducing serious illness and hospitalizations from COVID-19 allows us greater capacity to provide treatment and care for all those in need.

Tammy Peterman: We're joining academic medical centers and hospitals across the country in requiring this vaccine for our team. We want to help set the example by showing we trust the science. We're always committed to providing the very best care and the safest care for our patients we know we're making the right decision for our organization, our patients, employees and physicians. And we continue to strongly encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated.

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