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Monument Health announces vaccine mandate

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 11:10 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Starting December 1, all caregivers at Monument Health will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The move to vaccinate physicians and caregivers mirrors that of Sanford Health, Avera Health and more than 170 other health care systems across the United States.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Dr. Brad Archer, Chief Medical Officer for Monument Health said, “We look forward to the day when COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our care teams, our patients, and our communities. The only way to get there is through vaccination.”

Archer added, “As health care professionals, we owe it to our communities to do whatever we can to contain and control COVID-19. And extensive studies show that the vaccines are safe and effective.”

According to the release, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious. The release added that, the Delta variant is spreading rapidly through the communities across western South Dakota with the number of new COVID-19 cases nearly tripling in Western South Dakota during the past three weeks.

Of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Monument Health, approximately 82 percent are unvaccinated. Among those receiving ICU-level care, 91 percent are unvaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine received full approval for adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to be approved soon.

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