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Washington State Hospital Association urges hospitals to require employee vaccinations

KOMO-TV Seattle logo KOMO-TV Seattle 8/4/2021 Gerald Tracy, KOMONews.com Digital Producer
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SEATTLE – The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) is urging all hospitals throughout the state to require employee vaccinations.

The WSHA announced this Monday, saying the new concern involving the delta variant is a huge part in the new suggestion.

a person standing in front of a computer screen © Provided by KOMO-TV Seattle
Caption: WATCH: WSHA hosts press conference regarding vaccine requirements at hospitals, delta variant

“This particular variant, due to different mutations that we don’t completely understand, is way more transmissible than even the alpha variant, the B117 we talked about before, at least two to four times as transmissible,” Harborview Medical Center Medical Director Dr. John Lynch said.

According to WSHA CEO Cassie Sauer, 99 percent of people who end up with COVID-19 in the ICU are not vaccinated. WSHA said the variant paired with “trauma season” is pushing hospital staff to its end.

“All of our facilities in Washington state are very full,” Dr. Lynch said. “So we’ve got a topped off system with workers who have been dealing with COVID-19 response for over a year and a half and are really feeling the stress of dealing with yet another surge that is really focused on folks who are not vaccinated, particularly young adults who are showing up to our hospital and ending up in both our acute care units and intensive care units.”

Sauer called the newest COVID wave is demoralizing for employees and says the way you can help is with getting vaccinated yourself and “don’t get covid.”

The doctors said the WSHA is urging all hospitals to consider the vaccine requirement, despite the negative connotation it may bring.

“This is a big deal, we understand that vaccine requirements are controversial, but we think it is the right thing to do and we are eager to help our hospitals across the state to implement this policy,” Sauer said.

WSHA said some hospitals are concerned they could lose staff if vaccines are required.

“That will happen if you have unvaccinated healthcare workers,” Dr. Lynch said. “They will get exposed or infected and then you’re going to be dealing with much larger staff loss, to be honest.”

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