A university hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is no longer requiring its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — an about-face from the position the medical center held just one month ago.
CBN News reported that officials with the University of Alabama said they are reversing the policy as they await details from the federal government following President Joe Biden’s edict mandating all employers with more than 100 staff members to require inoculation against the coronavirus.
Acccording to WBRC, President of the Alabama Hospital Association Dr. Don Williamson said most hospitals in the state aren’t requiring the shot right now anyway, UAB was one of few. He said hospital staff has high vaccination numbers, anywhere from 50 to 80% in different locations, which Williamson said many achieved through incentive programs.
UAB is still offering $400 to employees willing to be vaccinated, and other hospitals are offering time off and prizes. Williamson said overall, hospitals want vaccinated employees to help staffing issues, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there needs to be a mandate.
He said it is up to each hospital to make the decision based on their staff and patient’s needs. “It’s not a small issue if we have unvaccinated employees,” Williamson said. “Hospitals have successfully navigated the waters of getting people vaccinated and for the most part, they have been able to do it without mandates.”.