Metro Health joins list of hospitals requiring COVID-19 vaccination

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — All workers at Wyoming-based Metro Health – University of Michigan Health will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The policy affects “all employees, members of the medical staff, contractors, students and volunteers,” a Friday email to employees from Metro Health CEO Dr. Peter Hahn said, though some exemptions may be allowed. The date by which workers must get their shots has not yet been finalized, but should be known within the next two weeks.

Hahn said the decision was “based on our commitment to providing the safest possible environment” for patients and employees alike.

“Patients expect to feel safe and protected when receiving care at any of our facilities; vaccines are safe, highly effective and the best way to protect our patients and each other,” his letter read in part.

The hospital system said more than 70% of its employees are vaccinated, but stressed it was “very important” to increase that rate as the highly transmissible delta variant of coronavirus spreads.

Employees received word of the new policy the same day that the University of Michigan announced all students, staff and faculty at its Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, as well as Michigan Medicine, would have to get vaccinated ahead of the fall semester.

Spectrum Health, West Michigan’s largest hospital system and largest employer, announced earlier this week that all of its workers would have to get immunized after the FDA approves one of the vaccines. Two other systems with hospitals in the region — Trinity Health, which owns Mercy Health, and Ascension, which runs Borgess Healthcare — also announced they are requiring their workers to be vaccinated; Trinity by Sept. 21 and Ascension by Nov. 12.

Henry Ford Health System in southeastern Michigan is requiring vaccinations, as well.

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