RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Duke University Health System and several UNC hospitals are among health systems that will require all workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, according to a statement released Thursday.
The decision to require the vaccine comes following the North Carolina Healthcare Association’s announcement supporting required vaccinations for health care workers.
“We’ve seen an uptick in hospitalizations locally, regionally, nationally, and, an increased rate of infections among team members. So all of those signals put together suggested to us that it was the right time,” said Dr. William J. Fulkerson, Jr. with the Duke University Health System.
“If we hadn’t seen the emergence of more variants or more contagious versions like the Delta variant, then it might not have been necessary.”
According to the announcement, the health systems to require employees to be vaccinated include Atrium Health, Cone Health, Duke University Health System, Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and the following UNC Health hospitals – UNC Medical Center, UNC Rex, UNC Johnston, UNC Chatham, UNC Rockingham and UNC Southeastern.
William J. Fulkerson, Jr., M.D., executive vice president of Duke University Health System, released the following statement:
“Duke University Health System welcomes the N.C. Healthcare Association’s position supporting the requirement of COVID vaccinations for health care workers. We are proud to be among the first in North Carolina to implement this condition of employment.
DUHS is taking this action because we are committed to keeping our patients, team members and the community safe and healthy. Our position is based on scientific data from infectious disease and public health experts at Duke and around the U.S., which show the vaccines to be both safe and effective in significantly reducing COVID transmissions.”William J. Fulkerson, Jr., M.D., executive vice president of Duke University Health System
Duke Health notified employees of the requirement on Thursday.
According to the notice, all team members have to receive and show documentation of their completed COVID-19 vaccinations by Sept. 21.
The vaccine requirement applies to everyone who works or trains at Duke University Health Systems, including team members, providers, volunteers, students/learners, residents, those who are job shadowing and temporary employees.