Local hospitals weigh vaccine mandates and staffing shortages

Regional News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Hospitals across the country are preparing for increased staffing shortages as select states begin mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare workers.

In Central Pennsylvania, Geisinger and UPMC are taking two different approaches.

At Geisinger, employees must complete a Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine series by November 1.

In a statement to WTAJ, Geisinger said:

“Because safety of our patients and staff is our top priority, the decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine was one that fulfills our obligation to do everything we can to protect our patients, their families and each other. And it will help make sure we have staff available to provide high-quality, accessible care for friends and neighbors who rely on us every day for it…

That said, we’re confident this decision will attract and retain employees who chose healthcare careers because they share these values.”

UPMC said they are facing a staffing shortage, much like many healthcare facilities in the U.S., and they aren’t acting on a vaccine mandate just yet.

In a statement to WTAJ, UPMC said:

“UPMC follows all current governmental requirements, will continue its vaccine advocacy and outreach efforts, and make vaccines easily and readily available for all. We continue to monitor any governmental guidance related to local vaccination and testing requirements where our employees live and work.”

WTAJ has also reached out to Mount Nittany Medical Center and have yet to hear back on their current policy.

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