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In an interview with Ochsner Health CEO, Warner Thomas, the Louisiana Radio Network is reporting that all employees of Louisiana's largest hospital system, will be required to receive the COVID vaccination.

Thomas said, “We do anticipate moving to mandatory vaccines when the vaccine comes off EUA (Emergency Use Authorization.) Our hope is the EUA will be lifted shortly, I know that it’s being looked at very closely and expeditiously by the FDA.”

The required vaccinations are the recommendation of the American Hospital Association and Ochsner has committed to following it as COVID cases surge once again.

That statement from the American Hospital Association reports that the best available scientific evidence indicates that:

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are safe.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations are effective at reducing both the risk of becoming infected and spreading the infection to others.
  • COVID-19 has a significant risk of transmission both before the onset of symptoms and in the absence of symptoms. These risks are substantially higher among unvaccinated individuals.
  • Among unvaccinated individuals, COVID-19 infections pose a substantial risk of severe illness and death and may lead to long-term adverse impacts to health. These risks are higher among those individuals with certain underlying health conditions, like many patients in hospitals or who are seen in hospital-based ambulatory settings.

At this time, out of the fear of legal repercussions, Ochsner hasn't made the vaccinations a requirement, but according to Thomas, once the vaccines are fully approved by the FDA, the policy for mandatory vaccination will be enforced.

Though it's still anyone's guess as to when any of the three COVID vaccines will get that FDA approval, Ochsner is reporting that 61% of their staff are already vaccinated.

Additionally, due to the near overwhelming addition of COVID cases, Ochsner has recently amended their visitation policies and according to Thomas, the sudden increase of COVID patients is weighing on hospital staff as the hospitals continue to remain open for non-COVID patients as well.

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