Press "Enter" to skip to content

Capitol Briefs: CoxHealth to require vaccinations for employees

After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday, CoxHealth said it would require all of its employees to be vaccinated. 

Employees must have gotten at least the first dose of the vaccine by Oct. 15, CoxHealth said. Nearly 70 percent of employees, including about 90 percent of physicians, are already vaccinated, the southwest Missouri health system said. 

“This decision is ultimately led by science, which has shown us that vaccinations are the way we can end this pandemic,” Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, said. 

“Ultimately, this decision has been made in support of our most urgent priority of protecting our employees, patients, and community. We have seen great tragedy over the past 18 months: Hundreds of lives lost due to COVID-19, even more left with long-term impacts, and untold moments of pain for our employees and community members due to this dreadful virus,” Edwards said. “We take this opportunity to unify and move forward together as we work to protect our community, as we have been called to do in health care.” 

  • Cox Medical Group leaders as well as its Incident Command Team (made up of medical directors from various specialties) have backed mandatory vaccinations. CoxHealth’s board and administration also support universal vaccination, the system said in a press release Monday. 
  • The new mandate covers all employees, physicians, students, and vendors who work on CoxHealth campuses. 
  • The FDA officially granted full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday for those who are at least 16 years old. Emergency use authorization has been granted for those between 12-15 years old. COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have also been granted emergency use authorization — allowing for quick distribution — from the FDA. 
  • The Mercy health system, which has facilities across Missouri, has instructed its co-workers to receive the vaccine effective Sept. 31. 
  • President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have encouraged COVID-19 vaccinations as well as Gov. Mike Parson. 
  • As of Monday morning, nearly 54 percent of the adult population in Missouri have completed vaccination. Sixty-two percent of adults have initiated vaccination. In the past week, 48 Missourians have died from COVID-19, and more than 11,500 people have tested positive. 
  • Missouri’s health department reported hospitals have about 14 percent remaining ICU bed capacity and 26 percent remaining capacity in inpatient and outpatient beds.