Vaccine required for all Dosher Hospital employees, vendors, volunteers and staff

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Dosher Memorial Hospital will require vaccination of all employees, volunteers, vendors, and contracted staff and workers who work or do business in any hospital building or Dosher healthcare clinic.

The vaccination series must be completed by October 28, 2021, unless an exemption is submitted for medical or religious reasons.

Hospital officials came to this decision after reviewing the rising rates of COVID positivity and hospitalizations in Brunswick County along with recent statistics indicating that 99+% of COVID deaths in the United States are in unvaccinated individuals.

“This mandate is in the interest in the health and well-being of our staff, patients, and public safety,” said Dr. Brad Hilaman, CEO and CMO of Dosher Memorial Hospital. “As most are aware, there is a strong movement across the US and NC to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. This is especially prevalent in the healthcare setting. The North Carolina Healthcare Association, which is comprised of the majority of hospitals in North Carolina, issued a board-approved statement supporting COVID-19 vaccination requirements.”

The UNC, Atrium, and Novant Health care systems, in addition to multiple smaller hospitals, have established dates for completion of mandatory vaccination for COVID-19.

Hospitals everywhere are experiencing critical staffing shortages, which could easily leave patients without access to the care they need, if employees become ineligible to work, due to a COVID-related quarantine or from contracting the virus.

“As a small hospital, we need every team member,” said Lynda Stanley, President of Dosher Memorial Hospital and Foundation. “Unlike other businesses, we cannot cut a shift or close production. Our county and the surrounding counties are facing increased numbers of our community that need our care. Most of these patients do not have COVID-19 but other serious illnesses that require treatment. Every person who is absent because of illness or a quarantine which resulted from an unvaccinated staff member being exposed to COVID increases the burden on our already over-worked staff.”

The decision to mandate the vaccine was made after much consideration and with keeping the safety of patients, staff, and community the top priority.

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