MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – All associates will now be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the parent company of Manhattan’s Ascension Via Christi Hospital announced Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Ascension Via Christi Hospital was not available Tuesday night for comment on the new requirement from its owner. The health system announced after seeing a returning rise in COVID-19 cases with new variants emerging, it will follow in the footsteps of other healthcare providers to require its staff to get vaccinated. The decision came after a “thorough moral and ethical analysis.”
“As a healthcare provider and as a Catholic ministry, ensuring we have a culture of safety for our associates, patients and communities is foundational to our work… Ascension will require that all associates be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they provide direct patient care, and whether they work in our sites of care or remotely. This includes associates employed by subsidiaries and partners; physicians and advanced practice providers, whether employed or independent; and volunteers and vendors entering Ascension facilities.”Ascension
The parent company of Manhattan’s hospital went on to say it expects all of its staff to have their shots by Nov. 12, 2021, which lines up with Ascension’s annual flu vaccine requirement. There is a process for staff to opt out of getting the vaccine, however.
“In those instances when someone may not be able to get vaccinated due to a medical condition or strongly held religious belief, Ascension will provide a process for requesting an exemption similar to the process we use for the annual influenza vaccine,” the health system said.
Ascension said it hopes with a fully vaccinated staff, it can keep focusing on “meeting the needs of those who come to us for care.” Beyond its hospital in Manhattan, the Catholic health system, which calls itself a “faith-based healthcare organization,” has more than 160,000 associates and 40,000 aligned providers with 146 hospitals and 40 senior living facilities throughout the United States.