Henry Ford Health System is mandating that all of its approximately 33,000 workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. Officials say anyone without a verified exemption who has not been inoculated by Sept. 10 will see their employment terminated.
Dr. Dennis Cunningham is director of infection control and prevention at the hospital network. He says about 70% of Henry Ford’s staff has already received the vaccine.
“There may be some individuals that will choose not to be vaccinated and choose to leave employment.” —Bob Riney, Henry Ford Health System
“Like other health care systems,” says Cunningham, “we’re seeing lower numbers among non-clinical administrative teams. We suspect that part of the reason for this might be that so many of our non-clinical teams are working remotely and are choosing to wait to get their vaccines.”
Cunningham says mandating COVID-19 vaccines is consistent with Henry Ford Health System’s existing policies. He says every year all employees are required to receive the annual flu shot.
Bob Riney is the health system’s president of health care operations and chief operating officer. He says Henry Ford will work with its employees to make sure vaccines are available.
“There may be some individuals that will choose not to be vaccinated and choose to leave employment at Henry Ford Health System. But we don’t anticipate that number will be very large,” he says.
Officials say exemptions on religious and medical grounds will be considered. However, they say those waivers will likely be limited to individuals who have an allergic reaction to the first dose or a known allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine.