Dayton Children’s requiring COVID vaccine for all employees

Dayton Children’s Hospital will require all employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

All staff, volunteers, students and on-site contractors will be included in the requirement. The decision came following recommendations from the Children’s Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association.

“Even though children are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 infections, they have suffered,” read a statement from Dayton Children’s. “More than four million children have been diagnosed with COVID to date.”

All of Cincinnati’s major hospital groups are requiring their staffs and volunteers be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, they announced today in a joint news conference at Christ Hospital.

Those hospital groups include Mercy Health, TriHealth, University of Cincinnati Health, Christ Hospital, St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Locally, McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital is part of TriHealth.

Sarah Hackenbracht, CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said her organization’s hospitals, which include Premier Health and Kettering Health, are monitoring the situation and have been in close contact with Cincinnati hospitals during the pandemic. At this time, there is no overall requirement for the hospitals’ staffs.

“At this time, Premier Health has not made the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for employees. We strongly encourage Premier Health employees to get vaccinated, and a majority in our organization have done so. Regardless of whether an employee chooses to receive the vaccine, Premier Health continues to take appropriate steps for patient safety, such as requiring employees to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when caring for patients,” reads a statement from Premier Health, which operates Miami Valley Hospital.

James Buechele, spokesman for Kettering Health, said that his hospital group “is currently reviewing our COVID-19 vaccine policy. We encourage all of our employees and community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

After a decrease in coronavirus over the spring and early summer, cases began to climb again throughout July. On Wednesday, Ohio reported more than 2,000 cases of COVID for the first time since mid-April.

“With the recent surge in COVID cases across the country, we must go further to protect our nation’s children,” Dayton Children’s said. “They cannot protect themselves. We must do it for them. While we respect differences of opinion, the science overwhelming shows the best available protection is the vaccine.”

The hospital’s staff will also continue to wear masks, frequently wash their hands, social distance and practice additional health safety measures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its mask guidance, recommending face masks for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside in areas with high COVID transmission rates.

As of Thursday, Montgomery County meets the CDC’s definition for high transmission. From July 28 to Aug. 3, the county is reporting 121.88 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.

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