MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Approximately 92% of the workers at WVU Medicine has been vaccinated against COVID-19 as a mandate deadline approaches.
“That means they’ve either had their full series of vaccines or they’ve had their first vaccine on the way to get COVID vaccinated or they’ve been granted medical or religious exemptions,” WVU President and CEO Albert Wright said during a Monday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”
The mandate deadline is Oct. 31. Wright said the numbers currently look good.
“It makes us confident that as we finish up the month of October that we’ll get closer and closer to get everyone vaccinated to keep our patients and everyone safe,” Wright said.
WVU Medicine, which has approximately 26,000 workers in 16 hospitals across West Virginia, announced the mandate at on Aug. 23 when the state was in the middle of a COVID-19 Delta variant surge.
“It is critical that we have a workforce that’s able to come and take care of patients that depend on us and I believe and our leadership team believes the only way to do that is for our workforce to be vaccinated,” Wright said at the time.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) October 11, 2021
Wright said Monday there have been a small number of employees who have received either a medical or religious exemptions.
“The medical ones are usually ones where you’ve had a reaction to the vaccine which sometimes happens,” Wright said. “The religious ones are a little more complicated. We did that in a centralized fashion and there are folks who had legitimate religious exemptions that were granted.”
Wright said he has the feeling the actual vaccination rate with less than three weeks before the deadline is a little higher than 92%.
“I think you’ll have folks (those who have been vaccinated but haven’t reported) get that information into us and I think you’ll have folks go out and get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (one shot) which will accept. I think the numbers will come down,” Wright said.
Other hospital systems in West Virginia including Mon Health, CAMC and Mountain Health all have approaching vaccination mandate deadlines for their employees.