More details released after Intermountain Healthcare announces vaccine requirement

Intermountain Medical Center. Photo: Courtesy: Intermountain Healthcare

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 28, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — More details are being released after Intermountain Healthcare announced Wednesday it will require all caregivers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Intermountain Healthcare, which cares for hundreds of thousands of patients throughout the Intermountain West — including those with Medicare and Medicaid — will require all of its caregivers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to comply with federal vaccination requirements announced by President Biden in September,” said a news release.

The Biden administration issued the Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan on Sept. 9, requiring federal agencies to implement COVID-19 vaccination requirements in three areas, which all affect Intermountain: companies that contract with the federal government; employers with more than 100 employees; and healthcare facilities that participate in Medicaid or Medicare.

In response to the federal action, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force published guidelines that employees of federal contractors and subcontractors, which includes health providers, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has also announced forthcoming regulations requiring the vaccine.

Intermountain caregivers and others working in Intermountain facilities must receive at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Jan. 5, 2022, the news release said. The due date for the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna is Feb. 9, 2022.

An estimated 80% of Intermountain caregivers are already fully vaccinated against COVID.

“In order to remain fully compliant with federal requirements to care for the hundreds of thousands of patients in the communities that we serve, as well as for the safety and well-being of all patients and our caregivers, we’ve carefully made the decision to add this requirement,” said Mark Briesacher, MD, chief physician executive and senior vice president of Intermountain. “Following this government rule will enable us to continue to care for patients and members in our communities and help keep our caregivers as safe as possible, which is critical to our mission.”

Intermountain currently requires caregivers to be vaccinated for other communicable diseases, including influenza, hepatitis, measles and mumps, and pertussis.

As with other required vaccines, Intermountain caregivers can apply for an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for a medical condition or religious belief.

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