LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than five months after the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine kits arrived in Louisville, UofL Health announced it will require vaccinations beginning Sept. 1.
"We are proud to share that approximately 70% or more of our team members and providers, have already received the vaccine," Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health. "However, as a health care organization, we need to do even more."
UofL Health announced all team members and providers, including residents, fellows and rotating students, must be fully vaccinated starting Sept. 1. "Fully vaccinated" includes the CDC recommended two weeks post-shot.
New hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before they start employment and any long-term contract staff, such as security, food and nutrition services and environmental services are also requested to be fully vaccinated.
Those who cannot get the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons can apply for an exemption using the same process they currently use for flu vaccines. UofL Health will comply with all laws related to vaccine exemptions.
"There are very, very few medical reasons a person would not be able to receive this vaccine," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith said. "We recommend our team members and providers schedule and get the vaccine as soon as you can — not only for yourself, your colleagues, and patients, but for those you love as well."
After Sept. 1, those who are not vaccinated and have not received an exemption may be subject to disciplinary action.
UofL Health said it chose Sept. 1 because at least one of the vaccines is expected to be fully approved by the FDA at that time. If full approval is not granted, the date will be delayed.
Louisville Metro Government recently said it will require employees to provide their vaccination status once they head back to work, though the city is not requiring employees to get the vaccine. Employees who provide proof of vaccination will receive an extra two vacation days.