Bronson Healthcare is the latest Michigan employer to require vaccinations as a condition of employment.   In a release from President  & CEO Bill Mains and Chief of Staff Dr. Sridhar Chalasani, the new policy was announced stating that Bronson is implementing an immunization policy “to ensure its workforce along with contracted personnel, students, volunteers, vendors and others who conduct business at Bronson, are vaccinated and fully protected against COVID-19 by December 1, 2021.”

The rationale for instituting the new health and safety standard is explained was explained in a message which was distributed throughout the Bronson Healthcare system on September 8, 2021.

Here is that message:

“As the region’s leading healthcare provider, it is our responsibility to safely care for our patients, our staff, and our communities during this pandemic. Yet, we continue to be challenged by the unrelenting spread of COVID-19 infection across the nation and across our region.

We know that vaccination provides the best protection against COVID-19 and is the first line of defense in preventing the spread of this devastating virus in the community and in our workplace. The percentage of Bronson employees who are fully vaccinated is currently over 76%. This is greatly appreciated, but it is not high enough to achieve herd immunity and the level of protection necessary to halt this extremely contagious virus.

After much input, analysis, and thoughtful deliberation about how best to increase Bronson’s level of safety against COVID-19 and contribute to the greater good, we will be implementing a COVID-19 immunization requirement. This decision was made in collaboration with, and unanimously endorsed by, our System Medical Executive Committee and Infection Prevention department and will apply to all Bronson employees, medical staff providers, contracted personnel, students, volunteers, vendors, and others who come into a Bronson facility and interact with staff or patients. It does not apply to patients and visitors. This will be a minimum work requirement similar to the health system’s annual flu shot requirement. The deadline date to be vaccinated and fully protected (2nd dose + 2 weeks) will be December 1, 2021.

We firmly believe this is the right thing to do. People look to those of us in healthcare to be role models, to know the science, and to bust the myths about the vaccine so that they feel confident about getting vaccinated and confident in their safety when they come to Bronson for care.

We have three COVID-19 vaccines in use that protect people against moderate to severe infection and death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 and older reaffirming that the mRNA vaccine is highly safe and effective. It is expected similar FDA approvals will follow for the vaccines that rolled out later in the year.

Together, we must unite around vaccination to ensure we are each doing all we can to keep ourselves and the people around us healthy and safe, and to fulfill our mission to advance the health of our communities.”

Other medical groups have already adopted similar policies, including Spectrum Health, Metro Health – the University of Michigan Health, Trinity Health, which owns Mercy Health, and Ascension, which runs Borgess Healthcare.

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