Union Health officials discuss decision to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Union Health officials are sharing what went into the decision to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Medical Director Jackie Holder said the decision was made to benefit both employees and patients.

“In our mission to provide the highest quality and passionate care for the Wabash Valley, this fits in line with it,” Holder said.

The announcement from Union Health came just days after Vigo County entered the orange advisory for COVID-19 transmissions. Holder stated that this was a big factor in the decision.

“Here we are facing another pandemic,” Holder stated. “It really brings it to the forefront of what is going on in the community and how this is such an important issue.”

Health and religious exemptions against the vaccine will apply. However, Chief Medical Officer John Bolinger said that those who do not meet these exemptions and refuse the vaccine, could be subject to job termination.

“If they don’t have a valid exemption, then they take the vaccine or they are no longer employed at Union Hospital,” Bolinger said. “Hopefully that won’t happen as that is not our intent at all.”

Bolinger mentioned that employees are subject to other vaccine requirements such as the flu shot. These requirements tend to see about 95% of employees take the vaccine.

Bolinger also went on to say that he’s seen instances of patients refusing treatment from employees if they were unvaccinated.

“Some patients become quite upset about that and we’ve even had patients leave against medical advice because their caretakers were not vaccinated,” Bolinger said.

Union Health employees must be fully vaccinated by November 1st.

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