Comanche County Memorial Hospital reinstates COVID-19 vaccine requirement

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 10:51 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - CCMH officials said they put a halt on the vaccination mandate, but since the recent reinstatement, they have begun Phase 1 of implementing the vaccine.

Administrative Director Taylor Farmer said the Center of Medicaid and Medicare initially came out with the vaccination mandate in November of last year.

And a policy was put in place for CCMH to meet the needs of that mandate.

However, a decision was made shortly after and the policy was frozen until recently.

“The sixth circuit court out of Louisiana made a decision to stay that,” Farmer said. “There were several states that were a part of that, Oklahoma being one of them. So we stopped our policy at that point until the Supreme Court made a decision, which they did on the 13th of this month.”

Farmer said all health care workers in the entire facility of CCMH have to receive the vaccine, unless they have an exemption on file due to religious or medical reasons.

“They have the opportunity before the end of this month to submit an exemption if they desire not to take the vaccine itself,” he said. “Otherwise, they have to have the first vaccine by the end of this month, the 27th of January.”

A committee member will look over the submission of exemption, and determine if the employee will be approved.

Farmer said it’s important the hospital meets all mandates in place, so cooperation from employees is important.

”We have close to 80 percent of our workforce that is vaccinated, and we do expect some exemptions and we will process those as they come in,” he said. “It is a goal for us to try to get close to 100 percent as we can.”

Once the employees receive the first vaccine by Phase 1, they will need to get the second vaccine 30 days after.

Farmer said not a lot of people understand the logistic behind policies put in place like this for physicians or facilities that are funded through government money, so if the workforce doesn’t comply, they don’t receive the funds.

”Vaccines are important, they do work. It is something that is a personal choice for many,” he said. “But, it is something we do encourage at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.”

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