Mayo Clinic staff vaccination rate exceeds 87% 3 weeks after deadline

Mayo Clinic announced in July its requirement that all staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 17 or undergo a refusal process, which includes watching education modules, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing while at work.

As of Oct. 5, 98 percent of Mayo Clinic physicians were vaccinated against COVID-19 and the overall staff vaccination rate exceeded 87 percent, the Rochester, Minn.-based health system said in a statement shared with Becker's.

"Vaccination is the best tool for preventing serious illness and hospitalization, and to help stop the spread of COVID-19," said Ginger Plumbo, communications manager for the Mayo Clinic Department of Public Affairs.

The clinic did not offer information about the number of employees who have yet complied with the system's staff vaccination program — or who have religious or medical exemptions — but said compliance is required.

Participation in the system's program will be enforced separately from the new federal requirements that Mayo Clinic will implement according to forthcoming regulations from CMS and the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden unveiled his administration's six-pronged approach to curb the pandemic, including requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their staff are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Federal officials said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will issue an emergency temporary standard to implement the requirement, affecting more than 80 million workers in private sector businesses. 

Additionally, CMS said it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for more than 17 million healthcare workers at Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals and other healthcare settings.

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