Some Wellstar employees receive erroneous email about approved medical exemption

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Marietta, Ga.-based Wellstar Health System said some employees were accidentally told their medical exemption from the company's vaccination policy was approved.

On Oct. 1, the erroneous email went out to a limited number of workers, according to a statement the system shared with Becker's.

"This included team members who had not requested a medical exemption, as well as team members who had received a prior response [to their exemption request]," Wellstar said. "We were able to quickly identify the issue and begin personal outreach to every team member impacted. We recognize the importance of the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and truly regret the mistake. We have apologized to our team members for any confusion this may have caused."

Wellstar did not disclose the number of employees who received the erroneous email. However, one employee who had requested an exemption told ABC affiliate WSB-TV that she and a dozen other employees received the erroneous email, shortly before learning the email was sent accidentally.

Wellstar announced its vaccination mandate in August, which required workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.  

Ahead of the deadline, the system said it made a good faith effort to encourage a maximum of employees to get vaccinated.

"We modified the policy and communicated with team members in mid-September, letting them know that those who received one dose of a two-part COVID-19 vaccine by the Oct. 1 deadline will continue to be paid and employed by Wellstar subject to receiving their second dose by Nov. 1," said Wellstar.

Wellstar said now that the system's initial deadline has passed, it has started confirming vaccination status and communicating with workers who appear to have not met the initial requirement.

The system added, "We will provide additional details after we complete this important step."

Wellstar is among the largest health systems in Georgia with more than 24,000 employees.

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