MCLEAN, VA – Terry McAuliffe today called on all Virginia health systems and health care providers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Terry made his announcement as part of a visit to Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax.
Inova Health System was one of the first in Virginia to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all of its 19,000 employees, an announcement the health care provider made in June of this year. Earlier this week, 'Terry for Virginia' announced that it is requiring all campaign employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"The only way we're going to end this pandemic and keep our economy strong is by getting every eligible Virginian vaccinated as quickly as possible. Leadership on this issue is critical, and I'm proud to be here today at Inova Health System, which has been a leader in our great Commonwealth in requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19," said Terry McAuliffe."I urge all health care systems and providers in Virginia to take this important step and require their employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Together, we can beat this virus once and for all, keep our fellow Virginians safe, and keep our Commonwealth's economy running strong."
The McAuliffe campaign noted that As Virginia's 72nd Governor, McAuliffe brought together Inova Hospital–the largest hospital system in Northern Virginia–George Mason University and the University of Virginia for a renowned partnership on personalized medicine and secured $16 million in state funding for the project.
Governor Ralph Northam's recent mandate that state employees be vaccinated for COVID-19 covers all state employees working in health care positions at Virginia's state hospitals and health care facilities. Private hospitals and health systems, however, are not subject to Governor Northam's mandate, meaning there is no vaccine requirement for thousands of workers at privately-run health care systems, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Terry's announcement today calls on all of these private employers to require full vaccination by their employees to keep Virginians safe and the Commonwealth's economy strong.
The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) today issued the following statement supporting COVID-19 vaccine requirements for health care workers.
“When the COVID-19 vaccines were first released, the VHHA and its members strongly encouraged all Virginians, particularly hospital and health system employees, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In the months since, the COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be extraordinarily safe and effective and have resulted in case counts and hospitalizations declining to their lowest levels since the pandemic began.”
“The scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that the COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from becoming seriously ill, requiring hospitalization, or dying from the virus, as well as spreading it to others. Virginia Department of Health data shows that since late January when vaccines first became available to the general public in the Commonwealth, 99.4 percent of cases, 99 percent of hospitalizations, and 99.3 percent of deaths have occurred in people who have not been vaccinated.”
“In recent weeks, many organizations representing medical professionals have called for COVID-19 vaccine requirements for healthcare workers. Many hospitals and health systems across the country have begun implementing COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Hospitals and health systems currently require vaccines against a variety of other diseases and viruses.”
“Given this, VHHA supports hospitals and health systems amending their existing vaccine policies to require COVID-19 vaccines for their health care employees. VHHA recognizes that each hospital and health system is unique and encourages each hospital and health system to determine the appropriate time to implement a requirement.”
“Hospital and health system employee vaccination against COVID-19 will maintain the long-term ability of our health care system to respond to the pandemic, to safely care for patients by protecting them from infection, and to mitigate the spread of the virus within health care facilities and among clinicians, patients, and their families and friends. Implementing COVID-19 vaccine requirements will help accomplish these goals, while protecting the patients and communities served by our hospitals and health systems.”
The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 26 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to achieve excellence in both health care and health.
Julian Walker, Vice President of Communications for Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, noted that VHHA’s statement was developed in consultation with its members, but vaccinations are are not a binding requirement of Association members.
"Like many other organizations representing health care providers – including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and numerous state hospital associations that have issued similar statements – VHHA strongly encourages Virginians, including health care professionals, to be vaccinated and we support hospital members that implement such policies."
"As COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations continue to rise in Virginia, we urge those who are unvaccinated to strongly consider the benefits of being vaccinated. Vaccines are readily accessible to all Virginians ages 12 and older."
Walker invites Virginians to visit https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/ to learn where you can get a vaccine in your local community.