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Employee Mandatory Vaccinations Policy and FAQs

To provide the safe care our communities demand and deserve, Oaklawn is implementing a vaccination policy, effective September 24, 2021, that highlights the vaccinations required as a condition of employment. Details of the full policy and answers to frequently asked questions can be found below.

Mandatory Vaccines Policy

This policy pertains to all employees, privileged practitioners (excluding privileged telemedicine providers), volunteers, students, independent contractors, agency staff, or individuals under a comprehensive contract for services regardless of the Oaklawn location where such services are provided are the policy’s scope. The scope of this policy is intended to exclude construction workers or vendors.

The purpose of this policy is to establish the guidelines for compliance with mandatory vaccinations at Oaklawn. Healthcare professionals’ compliance with mandatory vaccinations ensures the uninterrupted operational continuity of Oaklawn and leads by example in the health and safety of the community we serve. Compliance with vaccinations also ensures the health and safety of Oaklawn employees, patients, visitors, and others, and align Oaklawn policy with the guidance contained within the “Multisociety statement on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination as a condition of employment for healthcare personnel”.

All staff identified in the SCOPE of this policy shall provide proof of vaccinations. The vaccine will be offered free of charge, by Oaklawn, at various times and locations for all staff, privileged practitioners, contractors, and volunteers; students are required to have received the vaccine or provide proof of exemption at their own cost. Records will be maintained documenting vaccinations and declinations. If vaccine shortages occur or CDC recommendations are altered, the Executive Director of Human Resources or their designee may suspend or revoke all or part of this policy.

Definitions

Tdap refers to the adult dose of the combination Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis vaccine.

Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani. When the bacteria invade the body, they produce a poison (toxin) that causes painful muscle contractions. Another name for tetanus is “lockjaw.” It often causes a person’s neck and jaw muscles to lock, making it hard to open the mouth or swallow. Severe complications from tetanus can involve difficulty breathing, pulmonary embolism, and death. CDC recommends vaccines for infants, children, teens, and adults to prevent tetanus.

Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria which causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. CDC recommends vaccines for infants, children, teens, and adults to prevent diphtheria.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe. After coughing fits, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths, which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages but can be very serious, even deadly for babies less than one-year-old.

MMR refers to the 2-dose Measles, Mumps, Rubella series.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles starts with a cough, runny nose, red eyes, and fever. Then a rash of tiny, red spots break out. It begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that typically starts with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Most people will have swelling of their salivary glands, causing puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

Rubella is a contagious disease also known as German measles but caused by a different virus than measles. Most people with rubella have a mild illness, with symptoms that can include a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Some people may also have a headache, pink eye, and general discomfort before the rash appears. Rubella can cause a miscarriage or severe congenital disabilities in an unborn baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant.

Influenza Vaccine: Oaklawn approved seasonal flu vaccines.

Influenza or Flu is a contagious disease caused by viruses and can cause fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose. Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

COVID-19 vaccine refers to any of the Oaklawn-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus discovered in 2019. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Some people who are infected may not have symptoms. For people that have symptoms, illness can range from mild to severe. COVID-19 symptoms may include any or all of the following: fever, new onset of shortness of breath, uncontrolled cough, or two or more of the following not explained by a known medical or physical condition: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, muscle aches, severe headache, or sore throat.

Mandatory Vaccines

Oaklawn requires proof of vaccination for the diseases listed below for all staff identified in the scope of this policy.

  • Seasonal Influenza
  • COVID-19

In addition, Oaklawn requires proof of immunity and/or vaccination for the diseases listed below for position specific employees, volunteers and students.

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Diptheria
  • Pertussis

Accepted Proof of Mandatory Vaccines

Proof of vaccination is required. MCIR printouts or verification of vaccination records from credentialed medical practitioners or facilities.

Exemptions

Oaklawn recognizes reasons for not receiving mandatory vaccinations.

Bona-fide Medical Reason

  • Must be documented by Staff Person’s licensed health care provider.
  • Staff Person must submit the completed appropriate Medical Exemption Request form for each vaccine for which a medical exemption is being requested.
  • Temporary medical exemptions are only valid for the period identified on the exemption form.
  • Oaklawn Staff is advised to contact their health care provider regarding any medical concerns related to mandatory vaccines.

Bona-fide Religious or Spiritual Reason

  • Oaklawn respects the right of all Oaklawn-Affiliated Staff to practice and express their own religious and spiritual beliefs. Oaklawn’s Affiliated Staff that have a religious belief that all immunizations are contrary to their sincerely held religious teachings must provide documentation of this to Human Resources from their spiritual leader for determination of exemption.
  • Oaklawn’s Affiliated Staff who do not belong to a formal religion yet have a sincerely held spiritual belief may submit an exemption form without a signature from a religious leader; however, they may be asked a series of standard questions regarding the nature of their belief.
  • When requesting a religious exemption, Oaklawn Affiliated Staff must submit the entirely completed Religious/Spiritual Exemption Request Form answering the questions identifying the religious beliefs and conflicts with the requirements of their position.
  • If previous immunizations have been administered to the Oaklawn Affiliated Staff requesting an
    exemption, they may not qualify for a religious exemption.
  • Those requesting an exemption may be interviewed to determine qualification for the exemption. In addition, future immunizations may void the approved exemption.
  • The request for exemption must be completed annually; however, after the initial approval, it will only require the Oaklawn Affiliated Staff signature verifying that nothing has changed.

Compliance Date

The compliance date for the Flu Vaccine will be November 1 of each year unless the Infection Prevention Control Committee changes the date based on imminent medical health and well-being of the community based on prevailing influenza patterns not common to Michigan.

The compliance date for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is November 1, 2021. The compliance
date for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is December 1, 2021, or as otherwise published by
Oaklawn. Booster compliance dates are to be determined and posted by Oaklawn at a later date.

The compliance date for the other mandatory vaccines (Tdap, MMR) is upon hire.

Management of Non-Compliant Personnel

Those that have not completed their mandatory vaccines by the corresponding due date(s) will be separated from employment the following day.

FAQs

Q: Are all Oaklawn Hospital employees, medical providers, volunteers, students, and contracted workers expected to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and Influenza?

Yes. Unless a valid declination form is on file, those who have not yet received the COVID-19 (first dose) vaccination and Flu Vaccination must provide documentation of vaccination as a condition of employment, volunteering and as a condition of performing contracted work at an Oaklawn facility.

 

Q: What vaccines are required and when can I expect my Oaklawn providers to be vaccinated?

Oaklawn Hospital will require employees, providers, volunteers, and contract workers to be vaccinated against both the COVID-19 and Influenza virus. All Oaklawn Hospital workers and medical providers must receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and receive their flu vaccination by November 1, 2021. Second dose COVID-19 vaccination will be required by December 1, 2021. Declination forms can be filed by employees with a medical or sincerely held religious belief preventing vaccinations.

 

Q: Do my Oaklawn Hospital physicians support the vaccine requirement?

As of September 27, 95 percent of Oaklawn Hospital Medical Group providers have received their COVID-19 vaccination.

 

Q: What vaccinations does Oaklawn provide to employees and the public?

Oaklawn Hospital provides vaccination options for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. COVID-19 and Influenza vaccine clinics have been scheduled for Oaklawn employees, providers, volunteers, and contract workers. Community members seeking vaccination can call their Oaklawn Hospital provider, the health department, or their local pharmacy. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination by visiting the Oaklawn Coronavirus webpage.

 

Q: Is Oaklawn Hospital hiring?

Yes. Oaklawn currently has over 100 job openings and welcomes online applicants to view those positions at the Oaklawn Hospital careers page.