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Virtually all UW Health’s workforce received COVID-19 vaccine

Health officials push young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health officials push young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.(WEAU)
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Health confirms most of its workforce complied with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

“I think patients have every right to expect that the health care workers that are taking care of them are vaccinated because there’s just no room to, you know, not reduce that risk to patients who might be an organization of getting COVID-19 from one of our staff, that would be unacceptable,” UW Health Chief Quality Officer Dr. Jeff Pothof said.

Right now, 99.96% of the 16,185 UW Health employees and 100% of physicians and providers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It was good to see that, you know, we didn’t know how this would turn out, obviously no one wants to fire or terminate anyone, especially right now with the staff shortages, but at the same time, you know, organizations have values and it’s important that we hold strong to those values and that the folks who work for us share those same values,” Dr. Pothof said.

Less than four percent of employees are exempt from the vaccination policy due to medical or religious reasons.

“The vast majority of those are religious waivers. There’s a handful of medical waivers in there but I think as a lot of folks know, the medical exclusions to get in a COVID-19 vaccine are very very small. So, most of those medical type waivers weren’t approved, religious waivers can be a little bit more difficult to ascertain, you know whether someone truly has sincerely held beliefs or not,” Dr. Pothof said.

Employees have until October 11 to comply with the policy, or they will be terminated. Right now, UW Health expects fewer than 10 people will likely be terminated at that point.

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