Health First To Require COVID-19 Vaccinations For All Associates When Emergency Use Status Lifted

By  //  August 2, 2021

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Mandated vaccinations will safeguard the system’s patients, associates and community

In an e-mail from Health First President & CEO Steve Johnson and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jeff Stalnaker to the approximately 9,000 associates, they announced the decision to eventually mandate vaccinations for employees as a way to further safeguard the system’s patients, associates and community.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First officials today announced that it soon will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all associates when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifts the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and fully approves the vaccine.

In an e-mail from Health First President & CEO Steve Johnson, and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jeff Stalnaker, to approximately 9,000 associates, they announced the decision to eventually mandate vaccinations for employees as a way to further safeguard the system’s patients, associates and community.

Johnson and Stalnaker went on to say in the e-mail to all Health First Associates:

First and foremost, we wish to thank you – the dedication, care and compassion you have shown to our customers as COVID-19 cases continue to rise have been truly inspiring. We recognize the tireless work you are providing to our community, and there simply are not enough words to express our gratitude. You have been exceptional in rising to the occasion.

As part of our responsibility to protect Brevard County, and after careful and considerable discussion, when the FDA lifts the Emergency Use Authorization for a vaccine and fully approves it, as a condition of employment, we will require all Health First associates to receive a COVID-19 vaccine—just as we do for flu vaccines. Exemptions would be considered for medical or religious reasons. We expect FDA approval soon.

Research has made one thing abundantly clear – the COVID-19 vaccine is extremely effective at protecting against the coronavirus. Even when people are vaccinated and contract COVID-19, they demonstrate a faster recovery and less severity of illness than those who are unvaccinated. Of those recently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida, 96% are unvaccinated and 97% of our COVID-19-positive patients are unvaccinated. Health First has provided 45,000 vaccine doses to community members and associates and have not had any significant adverse reactions. 

Thank you for your continued commitment to caring for our community as we all work to protect ourselves and Brevard in an effort to eradicate this devastating virus. Your goodwill, amazing work and dedication are so very appreciated. We will share updates on vaccination requirements and clinics as more information becomes available.

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