Virginia health care systems to require vaccinations for staff

Two health care systems that provide care to people in Virginia are requiring their employees to be vaccinated.

UVA Health and Sentara both announced the requirement Wednesday.

“These vaccines will save lives, prevent unnecessary sickness and help us ensure we have the capacity to provide the best care possible, not just for patients with COVID-19, but for all patients,” Dr. K. Craig Kent, executive vice president for health affairs at UVA Health, said in a statement.

UVA Health employees have until Oct. 18 to get their second dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single shot of the Johnson & Johnson. “Anyone who is unvaccinated on Nov. 1 will face disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination,” a UVA Health news release said.

Sentara employees also have until Oct. 18 to become fully vaccinated. It’s a change from last June, when a Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center spokeswoman said the system is not mandating vaccination, “as the FDA has not fully approved them and they’re still only being authorized for emergency usage.”

The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this week.

“This timeline gives employees eight weeks to become fully vaccinated now that the FDA has approved at least one of the vaccines,” Sentara said in a news release.

Sentara has locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Stafford counties and Chesapeake. UVA Health has locations throughout the commonwealth, including Haymarket and Manassas.

Last week, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that all hospital workers in the state are required to show proof of full vaccination or submit to regular COVID-19 screening and testing.

D.C. is also requiring its health care workers to get vaccinated.


More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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