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Community > Press Releases > LMHS COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
LMHS COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) has established a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all employees, medical staff, volunteers and contract staff entering an LMHS facility. Employees will be required to fully vaccinate within 60 days of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the COVID-19 vaccines. “Receiving vaccination is the best way to build immunity to protect our patients, colleagues, families, and ourselves. With the highly infectious variants and cases rising once again in Ohio, it is vital to add the vaccine requirement to continue our mission of improving the health of the community,” said LMHS President & CEO Rob Montagnese.

Since December 2020, the FDA has approved emergency use of several vaccines to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Full approval of the vaccines already in use is expected by year-end. If FDA approval is not received by the end of the year, the LMHS vaccination requirement will be reevaluated. Exemptions will be considered for religious and medical reasons by a medical review committee.

LMHS’ decision to require the vaccination for employees is in accordance with guidance from the Ohio Hospital Association. The healthcare vaccination requirement also has been endorsed by many medical associations and societies throughout the country. In recent weeks, Ohio has experienced a resurgent spread of COVID-19 and evolving variants that are highly contagious. According to the Ohio Department of Health, nearly all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the state are occurring in people who are not fully vaccinated. “All three of the vaccines available in the U.S. are effective at preventing infection, severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been very good at preventing infection from variants,” said Craig Cairns, M.D., LMHS Vice President Medical Affairs. LMHS strongly encourages all individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. For information about LMHS’ walk-in vaccination clinic, visit LMHealth.org.