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MU Health To Require COVID-19 Vaccinations For Employees By Oct. 1

All employees, students and providers who work, learn or practice medicine at MU Health Care facilities must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, unless granted a medical or religious exception, it was announced Thursday.

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, according to MU Health Care.

The requirement will affect between 10,000-11,000 individuals associated with MU Health Care, said Jesslyn Chew, MU Health Care public relations manager.

The announcement comes as the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb, largely due to the highly contagious delta variant.

MU Health Care reported that most of its 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.

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.

Visit the MU Health Care website for more information.

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.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.