Dayton Children’s moves back vaccine mandate for workers

Dayton Children’s Hospital has moved back the date at which workers, students and volunteers must be vaccinated or risk being fired to Dec. 1 due to a surge in cases of respiratory infections and RSV in young children, according to a hospital spokesman.

“To allow our staff more time to complete the vaccine series, we are delaying the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement until Dec. 1,” said Katie Solovey, a spokesman for Dayton Children’s.

She said there is currently an “unprecedented surge in respiratory infections and RSV in young children.”

“Our staff are caring for more children with RSV than ever before, during a month when RSV levels are normally non-existent,” Solovey said. “This delay recognizes that the attention they are giving to our area’s children is paramount and grants them the extra time needed to fulfill both responsibilities.”

Dayton Children’s is one of the local hospitals requiring all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Premier Health and Kettering Health are also requiring workers to be vaccinated.

Initially, Dayton Children’s Hospital required workers to be vaccinated by Friday. Premier Health and Kettering Health are requiring employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 1.

About 3,800 employees at Dayton Children’s Hospital, as well as any on-site contract workers, students and volunteers, were asked to be fully vaccinated. If workers are not fully vaccinated, they would go on unpaid leave of absence for the next month, and after that would lose their jobs.

Dayton Children’s told the Dayton Daily News earlier this year that about 70% of the children they treat are too young to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is only approved in children ages 12 and older.

At the beginning of September, the hospital reported 40% of the children in the ICU at Dayton Children’s Hospital have COVID-19, said Dr. Adam Mezoff, the hospital’s chief medical officer and vice president.

Kaitlin Schroeder and Kristen Spicker contributed.

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