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Henry Ford Health Employees React To Hospital Vaccine Mandate For Staff

(CBS DETROIT) - Officials at Henry Ford Health says just over 60% of their staff is vaccinated but by the end of the summer they want all staff vaccinated. The employees we spoke with after the announcement say, they agree with the hospital.

During a virtual press conference Tuesday, officials with Henry Ford Health says COVID-19 hospitalizations at all of their hospitals are in the single digits and says their optimistic that the worst is behind; however…

"We have lived this fight long enough to know that the new variants are real and worrisome and they will continue to emerge and surges can happen, anytime and anywhere," said Henry Ford Health President of Healthcare Operations and COO Bob Riney.

Riney says vaccinations are the path forward to getting out of the pandemic, therefore Henry Ford is requiring all 33,000 staff members be fully vaccinated by September 10th, 2021 having both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This includes students, volunteers, and any contractors working at the facilities.

"I think for health issues for our patients as well as co-workers it's a good thing to have," said employee Stella Henderson.

Henderson has been a registered nurse with Henry Ford Health for 44 years and says working through this pandemic is something she never imagined. She, like other employees CW50 spoke with off camera says, they agree the vaccines will get us through it all.

"It's a better sense of security, but a lot of patients they make sure that they tell us oh I've been vaccinated," Henderson said.

Riney says for employees who qualify due to health or religious reasons there are vaccination exemptions. Otherwise, vaccines are mandated.

"Vaccination will be a condition of employment in the same way that we have with the annual flu shot," Riney said.

Riney says he knows there will be push back from some employees and they plan to keep communication open. He says besides the exemptions all vaccinations must occur by September 10, and new hire's will need to prove their vaccination status.

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