Spectrum Health has announced that it will require the COVID-19 vaccine for team members, medical staff, students, volunteers, and contractors. The mandate will go into effect within eight weeks of the Covid-19 vaccine's final FDA approval.

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Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese Decker says that the move is being made with the intent to save lives:

As a mission-driven organization, we are here to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. We must do all we can to take care of each other and our community. Together, our actions will serve to save lives and shorten the impact of the pandemic – both clear benefits to the public good. We thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence and interviewed and debated with experts, both internal and external, to understand the facts. After robust conversations and time spent reviewing the science behind the vaccines, we reached our conclusion.

In announcing the requirement Spectrum Health shared the data points it used to make the decision with scientific evidence and clinical results pointing to the effectiveness of the vaccine:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk for hospitalization and death by over 95%.
  • Currently, more than 99% of all deaths from COVID-19 infection are in unvaccinated persons.
  • Vaccination substantially reduces the risk of long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 as approximately 20% to 30% of people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 will develop at least one long-haul symptom.
  • The delta variant has been reported as 225% more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus from 2019.
  • As of July 20, data from CDC indicates that up to 83% of all current COVID-19 cases are due to the delta variant, which is an increase from 50% at the beginning of July.
  • States with low vaccination rates are seeing more young people requiring ICU and ventilator support.

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