OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As health officials are encouraging Oklahomans to roll up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine, one hospital system says it is turning its attention to its employees.
Officials say that even though COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, new infections are rising due to the Delta variant.
“These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective at providing long-lasting immunity to COVID-19,” said Dr. Todd Shuman, MD, SSM Health Chief Medical Officer. “However, we haven’t yet reached a level of vaccination that provides herd immunity, which is why we’re continuing to see dangerous surges in many communities.”
SSM Health announced that it will require its nearly 40,000 employees, providers, and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by the end of September.
“As health care providers, we’ve seen the devastating impact of this disease first-hand,” said Dr. Shuman. “The fight against COVID-19 is not yet over. We must continue to be vigilant in doing everything we can to protect our team members, patients and communities.”
The organization says team members can request an exemption for medical or religious reasons.
SSM Health operates St. Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.