Major Hawaii hospitals announce COVID vaccine mandates for employees – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

CRAIG T. KOJIMA/ 2020
Hilton Raethel, executive director of Hawaii Association of Health Care

Four of Hawaiis major healthcare facility systems revealed today that they are requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, joining a rapidly growing swimming pool of healthcare companies nationally that are mandating the vaccine.
The Healthcare Association of Hawaii, the states trade group for health centers and retirement home, also revealed today that it is supporting a vaccine required for healthcare workers.
The vaccine mandates come amid rising COVID cases in Hawaii and nationally as the extremely contagious delta variant takes hold.
In just two weeks, the states average case count has actually soared 163%. On Friday, the state reported a record 622 brand-new infections, followed by 485 on Saturday and 452 on Sunday, the three highest everyday counts since the start of the pandemic.
The policies differ slightly by healthcare facility, and are expected to consist of limited exceptions.
Adventist Health Castle is needing workers to be immunized by Sept. 30, while Hawaii Pacific Health and Queens Health System has set Oct. 1 as their deadline for employee vaccinations. Kaiser Permanente likewise said it is requiring its staff members to be vaccinated.
Hawaii Pacific Health also defined that any worker who is granted a spiritual or medical exemption from the vaccine, will be required to get evaluated routinely for COVID.
The Healthcare Association of Hawaii is likewise supporting necessary vaccinations, though with the caution that the Food and Drug Administration first concern full approval for at least among the readily available vaccines.
President Joe Biden said just recently that such approval could come at some point in between completion of August and October. The trade group likewise advises that exemptions be provided for spiritual or medical reasons.
” Our board voted overwhelmingly in assistance of this choice,” said HAH President and CEO Hilton Raethel, in a news release. “This is the right thing to do to safeguard patients, locals, and employees, in addition to the whole neighborhood.”

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